Back to top

Image: Shutterstock

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merck, Novartis, Mondelez International, ServiceNow and General Dynamics

Read MoreHide Full Article

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 4, 2020 – 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: Merck MRK, Novartis NVS, Mondelez International (MDLZ - Free Report) , ServiceNow (NOW - Free Report) and General Dynamics GD.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Merck, Novartis and Mondelez

 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 Merck, Novartis and Mondelez International. 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 >>>

Merck’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past six months (-5.4% vs. +6%). The Zacks analyst believes that Merck’s products like Keytruda, Lynparza and Bridion are driving sales. Keytruda sales are gaining from continued uptake in lung cancer and increasing usage in other cancer indications.

Keytruda has strong growth prospects based on increased utilization, recent approvals for new indications and potential additional approvals worldwide. Animal health and vaccine products remain core growth drivers.

The potential separation into two companies makes strategic sense as the remaining Merck should be able to achieve higher profits than the combined company. However, generic competition for several drugs and rising competitive pressure, mainly on the diabetes franchise will continue to be overhangs on the top line. 

Shares of Novartis have lost -2.6% over the past year against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +1.9%. The Zacks analyst believes that solid performance of key drugs like Cosentyx and Entresto, and contribution from gene therapy, Zolgensma, have boosted performance in recent times and offset the impact of generic competition for legacy drugs.

Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio and a formidable generics business. New launches like Piqray, Mayzent and Beovu should further boost sales. The biosimilar portfolio also gains traction with new key approvals. Novartis’ decision to restructure its business is a positive and should boost the pharma segment. The deep pipeline is encouraging as well.

However, price erosion in the United States has adversely impacted the generic business. Moreover, pipeline setbacks and generic competition for additional drugs are concerning.

Mondelez’s shares have gained +4.3% over the past three months against the Zacks Food Preparation industry’s fall of -5.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s focus on brand building through innovation and acquisitions has been yielding results.

Evidently, the buyout of minority stakes in Perfect Snacks along with investments in Hu Master and Uplift Foods, indicates the company's efforts to boost healthy offerings. Also, Mondelez is bolstering presence in the emerging regions.

Notably, management expects organic net revenues to grow more than 3% for 2020. However, adjusted gross margin declined 10 bps due to plant transition hurdles in Brazil, inflation in Argentina and weak powdered beverages in the quarter. Also, it grapples with adverse currency movements.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include ServiceNow and General Dynamics.

Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential

The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases.

Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.

See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339                                                                            

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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW) - free report >>

Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ) - free report >>