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Top Research Reports for UnitedHealth, Morgan Stanley & Anheuser-Busch

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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 UnitedHealth (UNH), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Anheuser-Busch (BUD). 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 >>>

UnitedHealth’s shares have marginally underperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry in the last one year (up +34.2% vs. +34.5%). The Zacks analyst likes the company’s robust Government business and continued strong growth at Optum. Its international business and strong capital position that allows for business investment are other positives.

It has been witnessing an increase in membership over many years. The company raised its 2018 earnings guidance led by tax reform upside. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 15.4% upward over the last 90 days. Nevertheless, membership loss in its fee based commercial business and Brazilian business will pull down overall membership growth.

(You can read the full research report on UnitedHealth here >>>).

Shares of Morgan Stanley have outperformed the Zacks Investment Banking industry over the last three months (+7.7% vs. +6.1%), supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk, strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives. Further, lower tax rates will aid profitability in the quarters ahead. However, persistent fall in net interest income (despite rising interest rates) remains a concern. Also, overall trading weakness is expected to hurt the company’s top line growth in the near-term.

(You can read the full research report on Morgan Stanley here >>>).

Anheuser-Busch’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Alcoholic Beverages industry over the last three months, gaining +0.8% vs. an increase of +2.2%. However, both top and bottom line outpaced estimates and improved year over year in the fourth quarter. In fact, the quarter marked earnings beat after seven consecutive negative surprises while revenues surpassed estimates after two straight misses.

The Zacks analyst likes its robust brand portfolio and solid geographical reach. The company keeps introducing near beer alternatives along with no- and low-alcohol beers to resonate with changing demand. Further, SABMiller’s buyout has enhanced its position in the global beer market.

Though the company anticipates delivering strong top-line growth for 2018, backed by solid brands performance and robust commercial plans, it sees volatility in certain key markets. Moreover, it envisions a soft first quarter, owing to difficult comparisons, and phasing of marketing and sales initiatives.

(You can read the full research report on Anheuser-Busch here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Cigna (CI), MetLife (MET) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG).

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Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>

Featured Reports

Strong Global Healthcare, Solid Balance Sheet Aid Cigna (CI)

Per the Zacks analyst, Cigna's Global Healthcare unit has been performing strongly for the past many years leading to revenue growth. Its strong balance sheet supports strategic investments

Long-Run CapEx Plan Aids Ameren (AEE) Amid Tax Reform Woes

Per the Zacks analyst, Ameren's multi-billion, long-run investment plan aids its system reliability and infrastructural improvements. Yet the recent tax reform may reduce its near-term cash flows.

Cost Savings Initiatives, Investments Drive Eversource (ES)

The Zacks analyst believes Eversource's planned $10.8 billion capital investment, intended to strengthen its operations, and cost savings initiatives will boost the performance of the company.

Declining Debt Load Aids Stone Energy (SGY), Reserves Fall

The Zacks analyst is concerned about the company's lower proved oil reserves which might affect output.

Restructuring to Aid Valmont (VMI), High Input Costs a Woe

According to the Zacks analyst, Valmont should gain from its restructuring actions that are geared to improve productivity amid headwinds from raw material cost inflation in 2018.

Store-Expansion Plan to Boost Nordstrom (JWN)

Per the Zacks analyst, Nordstrom has been focusing on its store-expansion strategy as part of its efforts to grow market share.

Merrimack (MACK) Pipeline Promising, Lack of Approved Drugs a Concern

Per the Zacks analyst, Merrimack has a promising pipeline with candidates being developed in prospective indications.

New Upgrades

Zumiez's (ZUMZ) Favorable Sales & Comps Trend to Drive Growth

Per the Zacks analyst, Zumiez has recorded sales beat for seven straight quarters and delivered comps growth for six consecutive quarters. It expects this trend to persist and drive growth in 2018.

Wyndham (WYN) Expands on Acquisitions & Marketing Campaigns

The Zacks analyst sees Wyndham's strategic acquisitions as a means of global expansion. Moreover, effective marketing campaigns are helping the company expand its presence and drive occupancy

General and Thoracic Surgery Aid Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

Intuitive registered solid performance in the Mature & Growth procedures, especially in General and Thoracic surgery. The Zacks analyst is bullish on the company's product-development initiatives.

New Downgrades

High Expenses, Exposure to Catastrophes Drags MetLife (MET)

Per the Zacks analyst, investments in efficiency programs might weigh on MetLife's bottomline before generating returns. Exposure to catastrophe losses induces earnings volatility.

Capacity Issues & High Costs Hurt Alaska Air Group (ALK)

The Zacks analyst is concerned about capacity expansion outpacing traffic growth at Alaska Air Group. High labor and fuel costs are also likely to limit bottom-line growth.

Frequent Acquisitions, Seasonality Hurts First Data (FDC)

Per the Zacks analyst, First Data's top-line growth is negatively impacted by frequent acquisitions and seasonality.


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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Morgan Stanley (MS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MetLife, Inc. (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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