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Hitachi & Microsoft to Facilitate Business Process Automation

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Hitachi Ltd. (HTHIY - Free Report) recently announced a partnership with Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) to facilitate process automation of manufacturing facilities and boost efficiency in logistics operations.

Under the multi-year partnership, the companies will jointly work on offering three Hitachi solutions to customers across Japan, Southeast Asia and North America. Notably, the offerings include Hitachi’s solutions like manufacturing productivity, predictive maintenance and logistics optimization, powered by several Microsoft cloud services.

Hitachi will integrate its advanced digital solutions, Lumada, as well as HX Series industrial controllers with Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 application suites to enable businesses enhance their workers’ operational productivity and efficiency.

Also, Hitachi’s advanced analytics will help business units realize higher logistics efficiency and cut operational costs by facilitating traffic, storage and delivery location analysis as well as smart routing with the help of Azure Maps and delivery optimization service. In addition, the predictive maintenance solution will leverage Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to support predictive maintenance and real-time remote assistance for front-line workers.

Zacks Rank, Price Performance and Estimate Trend

The company, with a $30.4-billion market capitalization, currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Over the past six months, the stock has lost 24.7% compared with the industry’s decline of 17.5%.

In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings has declined 21.3% to $10.88 for fiscal 2020 (ending March 2021).

Stocks to Consider

A couple of better-ranked stocks are Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC - Free Report) and Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK - Free Report) . While Macquarie currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Graphic Packaging carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Macquarie has a positive earnings surprise of 3.13%, on average, for the trailing four quarters.

Graphic Packaging has a positive earnings surprise of 9.59%, on average, for the last four quarters.

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