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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Southwest Airlines and Humana

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 4, 2020 – 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: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) , The Procter & Gamble Company PG, Pfizer Inc. PFE, Southwest Airlines Co. LUV and Humana Inc. HUM.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Q4 Earnings Scorecard & Analyst Reports for Amazon, Pfizer & Others

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 Amazon.com, Inc., The Procter & Gamble Company and Pfizer Inc. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today. We have also included a real-time update on the ongoing Q4 earnings season. 

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

Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard

We now have Q4 results from 228 S&P 500 members. Total earnings for these companies are down -0.5% from the same period last year on +2.3% higher revenues, with 71.4% beating EPS estimates and 67% beating revenue estimates. This is a better showing than we saw from the same group of 228 index members in the first three quarters of 2019. 

Looking at Q4 as a whole, combining the actual results that have come out with estimates for the still-to-come companies, total earnings are expected to be down -0.6% from the same period last year on +4% higher revenues. 

You can find more details about the ongoing earnings season in our weekly Earnings Preview report >>>>Impressive Tech Sector Earnings

Amazon’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Internet - Commerce industry over the past one-year period (+22.9% vs. +16.8%) and the Zacks analyst expects the momentum continuing on the back of the company's aggressive retail strategies and distribution strength. Rapid adoption of Prime driven by customer benefits and strengthening grocery services is aiding its top line. Further, Prime is driving its holiday sales growth. Also, expanding content portfolio is encouraging Prime membership. Furthermore, strengthening AWS services and its growing adoption rate are aiding Amazon’s dominance in the cloud space.

However, rising transportation cost related to its free one-day shipping service remains an overhang and is likely to increase further. Also, Amazon expects foreign exchange headwinds to continue impacting its top line.

Shares of Procter & Gamble have gained 27.1% in the past one-year period against the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials industry’s rise of 17.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s solid second-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings mark the continuation of its positive surprise trend. Further, earnings and sales improved year over year in the reported quarter on gains from productivity efforts, robust volume, favorable mix and pricing. Total productivity cost savings aided core currency-neutral gross and operating margin by 120 bps and 220 bps, respectively.

However, currency fluctuations remain concerning. Nevertheless, gains from acquisitions and divestitures are likely to partly offset the currency headwinds.

Pfizer’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals over the past two-year period (+7.4% vs. +17.9%). But the Zacks analyst believes that the company’s Consumer Healthcare joint venture with Glaxo, the Array acquisition and the pending merger of Upjohn unit with Mylan, if successful, will make Pfizer a smaller company with a diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines. The smaller Pfizer should see better revenue growth as the Lyrica LOE cliff will go away.

Pfizer expects continued strong growth of key brands like Ibrance, Xeljanz and Eliquis to drive sales in 2020. Pfizer also has a strong portfolio of new drugs, which will accelerate growth in 2020 and beyond. 

However, Lyrica generic erosion, currency headwinds and pricing pressure are the key near-term top-line headwinds.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Southwest Airlines Co. and Humana Inc.

Free: Zacks’ Single Best Stock Set to Double

Today you are invited to download our latest Special Report that reveals 5 stocks with the most potential to gain +100% or more in 2020. From those 5, Zacks Director of Research, Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

This pioneering tech ticker had soared to all-time highs and then subsided to a price that is irresistible. Now a pending acquisition could super-charge the company’s drive past competitors in the development of true Artificial Intelligence. The earlier you get in to this stock, the greater your potential gain.

See 5 Stocks Set to Double>>

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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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