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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Walmart, Amgen, salesforce.com and Mondelez International

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 16, 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: Microsoft MSFT, Walmart WMT, Amgen AMGN, salesforce.com CRM and Mondelez International (MDLZ - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Microsoft, Walmart and Amgen

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, Walmart and Amgen. 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 outperformed the S&P 500 over the past six months (+23.7% vs. -4.9%). The Zacks analyst believes that 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. Markedly, the ongoing expansion in Microsoft Teams’ subscriber base is strengthening the company’s competitive position in the enterprise communication market against Slack and Zoom. Furthermore, the company is well poised to widen the total addressable market through acquisitions of GitHub and PlayFab.

However, management doesn’t expect to meet its previous third-quarter fiscal 2020 projection for More Personal Computing segment revenues due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. This, in turn, raises investors’ concerns, at least in the near term.

Shares of Walmart have gained 25.3% over the past year against the Zacks Supermarkets industry’s rise of 23.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that the stock has been especially gaining from increased traffic stemming from rising demand for essential items amid coronavirus.

COVID-19 and the resultant social distancing has spiked up the demand for toilet paper, masks, gloves, packaged water, groceries and related staples. This has led to increased store traffic, to handle which the company also announced additional hiring. Walmart is also taking actions to support employees’ well-being and safety.

To this end, it announced special cash bonuses, and has altered shopping methods to aid social distancing. The company has also been gaining from its e-commerce business, especially grocery delivery. However, the company’s gross margin has been strained for a while due to compelling pricing and growing e-commerce mix.

Amgen’s shares have lost 8% over the past three months against the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry’s fall of 4.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that while Amgen’s growth products like Prolia, Evenity, Repatha, Aimovig, Otezla and biosimilars will drive sales in 2020, increasing competition for its legacy products will continue to hurt the same.

Amgen boasts a strong biosimilars portfolio. It is also progressing with its pipeline while regularly pursuing “external opportunities” such as the acquisition of Otezla and the recently acquired stake in China's BeiGene. Amgen also expects several important clinical data readouts from its innovative pipeline in 2020.

However, pricing and competitive pressure are concerns. Estimates have gone down ahead of Q1 results due to uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on results. Amgen has a positive record of earnings surprise in recent quarters.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include salesforce.com and Mondelez International.

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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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