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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Facebook, Bank of America, American Express and Deere

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –June 13, 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: Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) , American Express (AXP - Free Report) and Deere (DE - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Microsoft, Facebook and Bank of America

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 Microsoft, Facebook and Bank of America. 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 >>>

Microsoft’s shares have gained +31% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500’s’ gain of +2.7% during the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Microsoft is benefiting from growing user base of its different applications like Office 365 commercial, Dynamics, Outlook mobile and Teams.

Moreover, Azure’s expanding customer base is a key catalyst. Microsoft’s gaming segment is performing well, primarily driven by a combination of Xbox Live, Game Pass subscriptions and Mixer, which are driving user engagement. Acquisitions like PlayFab and GitHub expand Microsoft’s total addressable market (TAM) and penetration.

Additionally, its expanding partner base is notable. However, projections of a moderating growth rate in commercial cloud gross margin, and OEM Pro and Windows commercial businesses is a headwind. Moreover, stiff competition from the likes of Google, Apple, Sony and Nintendo remains a headwind.

(You can read the full research report on Microsoft here >>>).

Shares of Facebook have gained +35.9% year to date, outperforming the S&P 500’s increase of +14% during the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Facebook is benefiting from solid mobile ad revenues, driven by impressive growth in both Instagram Stories and Feed, and Facebook News Feed.

Although the company’s focus on security is expected to affect some advertisers’ ability to run legitimate ads on the platform, Stories are increasingly becoming an important growth opportunity for advertisers. Interactive Stories Ads on Instagram are likely to improve interaction among people, businesses and advertisers.

The Checkout feature on Instagram is part of Facebook’s e-commerce endeavors. However, a persistent mix shift toward Stories is anticipated to hurt ARPU. Rising regulatory headwinds are also a cause for concern.

(You can read the full research report on Facebook here >>>).

Bank of America’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Major Regional Banks in the past six months, gaining +15.7% vs. +9.1%. The company's earnings have surpassed expectations in each of the trailing four quarters. The Zacks analyst thinks efforts to expand into new markets and digital offerings will likely enhance cross selling opportunities.

Also, a rise in loan balances, higher interest rates and efforts to control expenses will likely support profits. The bank's steady capital deployment actions reflect strong balance sheet position and will enhance shareholder value.

However, dismal performance of capital markets amid tough operation backdrop has been hurting the bank’s investment banking and trading operations, which in turn will hurt revenue growth. Litigation issues related to its business misconduct in the pre-crisis period will likely result in higher legal costs.

(You can read the full research report on Bank of America here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include American Express and Deere.

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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.