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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: NextEra Energy, Walgreens Boots, Southern Company, Ameriprise Financial and Macy's

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 28, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) , Walgreens Boots (WBA - Free Report) , Southern Company (SO - Free Report) , Ameriprise Financial (AMP - Free Report) and Macy's (M - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for NextEra, Walgreens Boots and Southern Co.

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including NextEra Energy, Walgreens Boots and Southern Company. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>

Buy-ranked NextEra Energy’s shares have outperformed the S&P 500 in the past year, gaining +24.1% vs +1.8%. The Zacks analyst thinks NextEra Energy’s investments to strengthen its infrastructure and ongoing capital projects, on completion, will help in serving the expanding customer base more efficiently. The expansion of business through strategic acquisitions positively impacted earnings.

However, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Substantial investments are undertaken to ensure the safety of nuclear operations. That said, the risk of unplanned outages remains, which could derail its normal operations and impact profitability.

Shares of Walgreens Boots have underperformed the S&P 500 year to date, gaining +4.6% vs. +11.5%. Within Walgreen Boots' Retail Pharmacy USA division, the company has been making good progress on account of increasing prescription volume. The company is launching a new phase of transformational cost management to counteract margin pressure. 

Walgreens has been gaining on account of strategic tie-ups as well. The Zacks analyst is optimistic about Walgreens Boots’ recent alliance with Alphabet’s life sciences and healthcare segment Verily. The company launching next-day prescription delivery service with FedEx buoys optimism. 

Overall, the guidance for fiscal 2019 looks promising. However, tough market conditions, particularly in retail, have been leading to sluggishness in Retail Pharmacy International division. The ongoing generic drug inflation is hurting Walgreens' pharmacy margin.

Buy-ranked Southern Company's shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past six months, gaining +10.3% vs -3.6%. The Zacks analyst thinks Southern Company is one of the largest and best-managed electric utility holding companies in the United States, dominating the power business across the southeastern region.

With good rate base growth and constructive regulation, it is expected to generate steady earnings and dividend growth in the coming years through long-term power contracts. Additionally, SO's $12 billion AGL Resources buy has significantly increased its customer base and diversified offerings. However, continued timing and cost overrun issues over two large construction projects – Vogtle and Kemper – are major overhangs.

While the $25 billion Vogtle nuclear plant has gone well over budget and is years behind schedule, Southern's Kemper project suffered yet another setback with the suspension of all coal gasification operations amid additional cost burden. Hence, Southern Company warrants a cautious stance from the investors.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Ameriprise Financial and Macy's.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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