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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Comcast, AT&T, Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 24, 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 Corp. (MSFT - Free Report) , Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Free Report) , AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) , Amgen Inc. (AMGN - Free Report) and GlaxoSmithKline plc. (GSK - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 High-Flying Corporate Giants Set to Beat on Q3 Earnings

Wall Street bulls are raging since the beginning of 2019 although the pace has declined considerably in the past six months. Several headwinds related to economic, financial and geopolitical concerns across the world resulted in severe volatile trading in the past six months.

Despite almost day-to-day market fluctuations, a few corporate behemoths (with market capitalization of above $100 billion) surged in Wall Street. Some of these are set to beat earnings estimate in the ongoing reporting cycle.

Better-Than-Expected Third-Quarter Earnings So Far    

Third-quarter earnings so far are not as disappointing as expected initially. However, the forecast of overall earnings dip is still looming large.

As of Oct 18, 74 S&P 500 members reported third-quarter results. Total earnings for these index members are down 3% from the same period last year on 3.2% higher revenues. Notably, 83.8% companies surpassed EPS estimates while 59.5% beat revenue estimates.

At present, total third-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 Index are expected to be down 4% from the prior-year period on 4.1% higher revenues. This is a good improvement from an earnings decline of 5% on 4.2% higher revenues, expected in the beginning of the reporting period (Read More: Are Q3 2019 Earnings Results Really That Good?).

5 Corporate Behemoths Set to Beat on Earnings

We have used several selection criteria for our picks. First, we selected large-cap stocks as these companies are doing business for a long time and their stock prices are generally stable. Second, these stocks are regular dividend payers. Consequently, during market downturns, they can prove to be a regular income stream.

Third, these stocks have surged in the past six months in spite of volatile trading. Fourth, all these stocks are expected to release earnings reports this month and have a positive Earnings ESP. Strong earnings results will likely ensure a northbound move in the stock prices of these companies in the near term.

Finally, each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that for stocks with the combination of a Zacks Rank #3 or better and a positive Earnings ESP, the chance of an earnings beat is as high as 70%.

Microsoft Corp.is one of the largest broad-based technology providers in the world. Although software is the most important revenue source, its offerings also include hardware and online services. Microsoft’s major products include operating systems for computing devices, servers, phones and other intelligent devices.

Microsoft has an Earnings ESP of +0.31%% for the current quarter. The company has an expected earnings growth of 9.7% for both the current quarter and year. It delivered positive earnings surprise in the last four quarters with an average beat of 11.7%.

The Zacks Rank #3 stock has surged 9.1% in the past six months and offers a dividend yield of 1.3%. Microsoft is expected to release earnings results on Oct 23, after the closing bell.

Comcast Corp.is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and provides these services to businesses. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Comcast has an Earnings ESP of +0.99%% for the current quarter. The company has an expected earnings growth of 15.4% and 20% for the current quarter and year, respectively. It delivered positive earnings surprise in the last four quarters with an average beat of 7.2%.

The stock has soared 9.4% in the past six months and offers a dividend yield of 1.82%. Comcast is expected to release earnings results on Oct 24, before the opening bell.

AT&T Inc.is the second largest wireless service provider in North America and one of the world’s leading communications service carriers. It offers a wide range of communication and business solutions that include wireless, local exchange, long-distance, data/broadband and Internet, video, managed networking, wholesale and cloud-based services.

AT&T has an Earnings ESP of +0.50%% for the current quarter. The company has an expected earnings growth of 3.3% and 1.1% for the current quarter and year, respectively. The Zacks Rank #3 stock has jumped 24% in the past six months and offers a dividend yield of 5.3%. AT&T is expected to release earnings results on Oct 28, before the opening bell.

Amgen Inc.is one of the leading biotechnology companies in the world, with extensive manufacturing, distribution and sales facilities. It has a strong presence in the oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, inflammation, bone health and nephrology markets. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Amgen has an Earnings ESP of +0.50%% for the current quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter and year improved 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively, over the last 60 days. It delivered positive earnings surprise in the last four quarters with an average beat of 6.7%.

The stock has jumped 14.9% in the past six months and offers a dividend yield of 2.9%. Amgen is expected to release earnings results on Oct 29, after the closing bell.

GlaxoSmithKline plc.is engaged in the creation, discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines and health-related consumer products in the UK, the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals R&D, Vaccines, and Consumer Healthcare. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.

GlaxoSmithKline has an Earnings ESP of +3.03%% for the current quarter. The company has an expected earnings growth of 15.4% and 18.8% for current quarter and year, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter and year improved 1.2% and 2.8%, respectively, over the last 60 days. It delivered positive earnings surprise in three out of the last four quarters with an average beat of 712.7%.

The stock has climbed 6.5% year to date and offers a dividend yield of 4.3%. GlaxoSmithKline is expected to release earnings results on Oct 30, before the opening bell.

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