Zacks Investment Research Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on equities earnings estimates and stock analysis for the individual investor, including stock picks, stock screening, portfolio stock tracker and stock screeners. http://so-l.ru/news/source/zacks_investment_research Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:23:17 +0300 <![CDATA[JNJ, PG, TRV, KMB Post Q4 Earnings]]> Sandwiched in between Netflix’s NFLX strong quarterly earnings report after the bell yesterday and Texas Instruments TXN and United Air Lines UAL following today’ close, we see a fresh group of Q4 earnings hitting the tape. This week marks the first of several where hundreds of publicly traded companies bring out their results from last quarter.

Healthcare drug, device and packaged goods giant Johnson & Johnson JNJ put up a mixed Q4 report, with earnings beating estimates but revenues falling a tad short. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company reported $1.74 per share, surpassing the Zacks consensus by 2 cents, whereas revenues in the quarter of $20.20 billion fell slightly beneath the $20.22 billion we had been looking for.

However, its Pharma unit grew 17.6% year over year to $9.7 billion, with full-year 2018 earnings guidance between $8.00-8.20 well ahead of the $7.86 expected. That said, revenue guidance for the full year is currently $80.6 billion-81.4 billion, below the $81.55 billion in the Zacks consensus. For more on JNJ’s earnings, click here.

J&J’s competitor Procter & Gamble PG reported positive results in its fiscal Q2 report ahead of today’s opening bell. Earnings of $1.19 per share beat our consensus estimate of $1.15, on revenues of $17.4 billion outpacing the $17.34 billion anticipated. The Zacks Rank #3 company reported organic growth of 2% on both revenues and volume. For more on PG’s earnings, click here.

Domestic telecom leader Verizon VZ also posted a mixed outcome for its Q4 period, but in reverse: the company missed bottom-line expectations of 88 cents per share by 2 cents, while quarterly sales of $33,955 million surpassed the Zacks consensus of $33,146 million. Verizon, also a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported post-paid churn coming down while total retail connections rose 1.8% year over year. For more on VZ’s earnings, click here.

Paper and sanitary products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark KMB also beat bottom-line expectations, reporting $1.57 per share on $4.58 billion. We had been looking for $1.54 per share and $4.60 billion, which the Zacks Rank #3 company fell just short of. Full-year guidance between $6.90-7.20 is well ahead of the $6.56 in the Zacks consensus. For more on KMB’s earnings, click here.

Finally, Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated insurer Travelers TRV far outpaced expectations of $1.64 per share when it reported $2.28 per share this morning. This is roughly down 29% year over year, however. Revenues of $7.5 billion topped the $7.1 billion expected. While these headline numbers were solid, underwriting profit for the company fell 55%. For more on TRV’s earnings, click here.


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Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_jnj_pg_trv_kmb_post_q4_earnings Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:57:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Is Conestoga Small Cap Investors (CCASX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?]]> There are plenty of choices in the Small Cap Blend category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that may not be worth investigating is Conestoga Small Cap Investors CCASX. CCASX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We classify CCASX in the Small Cap Blend category, an area rife with potential choices. Small Cap Blend mutual funds usually target companies with a market capitalization of less than $2 billion. A small-cap blend mutual fund allows investors to diversify their funds among various types of small-cap stocks, which can help reduce the volatility inherent in lower market cap companies.

History of Fund/Manager

Conestoga is based in Radnor, PA, and is the manager of CCASX. The Conestoga Small Cap Investors made its debut in October of 2004 and CCASX has managed to accumulate roughly $701.67 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Robert Mitchell, has been in charge of the fund since October of 2004.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 16.76%, and is in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 15.83%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 11.26%, the standard deviation of CCASX over the past three years is 13.61%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.7% compared to the category average of 13.33%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, CCASX lost 42.31% and outperformed its peer group by 10.12%. This makes the fund a possibly better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 1.08, the fund is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. CCASX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 0.28, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, CCASX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.10% compared to the category average of 1.12%. From a cost perspective, CCASX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Conestoga Small Cap Investors has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Small Cap Blend funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare CCASX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_is_conestoga_small_cap_investors_ccasx Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:49:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Amgen's Migraine Drug Hits Primary Endpoint in Phase IIIb]]> Amgen AMGN announced that its fully human monoclonal antibody, Aimovig (erenumab), met all primary and secondary endpoints in a unique phase IIIb study for prevention of patients with episodic migraine, who have failed multiple prior preventive treatments.

Notably, Aimovig is the only investigational therapy designed to selectively block the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, which plays a significant role in migraine activation.

Aimovig is under review in both the United States and the EU for prevention of both episodic and chronic migraine. A decision from the FDA is expected on May 17, 2018.

Moreover, shares of the company are up 25.8% in a year, comparing favorably with the industry’s an increase of 8.6%.

 

The phase IIIb LIBERTY study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Aimovig in a broad spectrum of migraine patients ranging from those without a preventive treatment as well as those, who have tried and failed such therapies.

Results from the study demonstrated that at least 50% of patients achieved reduction of monthly migraine, days from the baseline over the last four weeks compared with placebo, the primary endpoint of the study. Data from the trial also showed consistent efficacy, safety and tolerability of Aimovig across a wider spectrum of migraine patients including those with complicated cases.

We remind investors that Amgen developed Aimovig in collaboration with Novartis NVS. The companies have now agreed to combine capabilities to co-commercialize the candidate in the United States. Incidentally, Amgen retains its exclusive commercialization rights in Japan. Novartis, which retains its existing commercialization rights in rest of the world, has exclusive rights to commercialize Aimovig in Canada under the expanded deal.

Per the World Health Organization, migraine is one of the most debilitating illnesses. Approximately 10 million Americans’ daily activities are affected by frequency or severity of migraine. Around 3.5 million subjects are undergoing a preventive therapy, of which, 80% discontinues the treatment within a year. Hence, approval of Aimovig will provide the company a much-needed access to a huge patient population in the United States, who are in need of additional curative options to apprehend the disease.

However, several companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited TEVA and Allergan AGN among others are also developing migraine treatments targeting CGRP.

 

Zacks Rank

Amgen carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Allergan PLC. (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Amgen Inc. (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TEVA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_amgen_s_migraine_drug_hits_primary_endpo Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:48:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Netflix Tops $100 Billion on Subscriber Surge: ETFs to Buy]]> Netflix NFLX, the world's largest video streaming company, cheered investors with blockbuster subscriber growth in its fourth-quarter results after the closing bell on Monday. The company also issued a better-than-expected subscriber growth guidance for the first quarter and topped revenue estimates though it met the earnings expectation.

Based on subscriber boom, Netflix shares surged nearly 10% following the earnings release in after-market trading and reached a new all-time high, topping $100 billion in market capitalization for the first time ever (read: Market at New Highs: Mega Cap ETFs & Stocks On A Roll).

Netflix Q4 Earnings in Detail

The company reported earnings per share of 41 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and up from 15 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenues climbed 33% year over year to $3.29 billion, well above our estimate of $3.26 billion. Most of the strength came from global streaming revenues, which were up 35.3% year over year.

Netflix added a record 8.33 million new subscribers globally in the fourth quarter, easily crushing the company’s projection of 6.3 million additions and more than the year-ago additions of 7.05 million. International accounted for the bulk addition of 6.36 million users while U.S. additions were 1.98 million. The ongoing global adoption of Internet entertainment is driving the company’s growth. Hit original shows for the quarter include 13 Reasons Why and the new seasons of Stranger Things, Black Mirror and historical drama The Crown while new programs include Godless, Marvel's The Punisher and Mindhunter as well as the release of the big-budget fantasy action movie Bright.

Notably, the video streaming giant reached 117.58 million subscribers globally at the end of 2017 with international subscribers (62.83 million) outpacing the United States (54.75 million). This indicates its continued dominance in the global streaming media market (read: Disney-Fox Deal to Change Media Industry: ETF in Focus).

For first-quarter 2018, the company expects to add 6.35 million subscribers, including 1.45 million in the United States and 4.9 million internationally. Revenues and earnings per share are expected to be $3.69 billion and 63 cents, respectively. Both numbers are well ahead of the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.52 billion for revenues and 57 cents for earnings per share.

Solid 2018 Outlook

The online video streaming giant is deeply focused on growing its global operating margin with a target of 10% for 2018, up about 300 bps year over year. As the company’s big investments in content are paying off with 9% year-over-year growth in average streaming hours per membership in 2017, Netflix now plans to spend $7.5-$8.0 billion this year on content including original shows and movies, to become the world's top movie and TV streaming service. A sizeable spending will go toward producing 30 new anime series and 80 new original films.

In particular, the company is looking to fill half of its streaming catalog with its own original shows and movies by the end of this year. Some of the TV shows and movies include Mute, Season 2 of Making a Murderer, Season 1 of Altered Carbon, Season 2 of Marvel's Jessica Jones, Season 1 of Maniac, Season 2 of GLOW, Sense8: Finale Special, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (mini-series), Season 6 of House of Cards, Season 5 of Arrested Development, and The Irishman.

Though Netflix belongs to a miserable Zacks Industry Rank in the bottom 23%, and has a disappointing VGM Style Score of F along with an inflated P/E ratio of 95.76 compared with the industry average of 12.20, it currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), suggesting room for potential upside. Netflix is primed for growth in the months ahead as it has created an unparalleled lead in the Internet TV business that will likely dominate over the long term (see: all the Technology ETFs here).

ETFs to Buy

Investors might want to capitalize on this Internet television network leader’s growth and the upcoming surge in its share price with lesser risk in the form of ETFs. For these investors, we have highlighted five ETFs with a higher allocation to Netflix and the potential to be big movers in the coming days.

PowerShares Nasdaq Internet Portfolio PNQI

This fund offers exposure to the largest and most-liquid companies that are engaged in Internet-related businesses by tracking the Nasdaq Internet Index. It holds about 84 stocks with Netflix taking the top spot in its basket with 8.6% allocation. Internet software & services dominates the portfolio with 55.6% share in the basket, closely followed by Internet & direct marketing at 37.6%. The product has AUM of $515.3 million and trades in a light volume of about 35,000 shares a day. It charges 60 bps in fees per year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook (read: Top-Ranked ETFs Crushing the S&P 500 to Start 2018).

AdvisorShares New Tech and Media ETF FNG

This is an actively managed ETF designed to invest in companies that are driving economic growth in the modern era, and can adapt to changing leadership by maintaining the ability to invest in the next generation of technology and media companies leading the equity markets. It seeks to provide a similar return stream to the performance of technology and media equity leaders as characterized by the FANG stocks acronym. This approach results in a basket of 23 stocks wherein Netflix takes the fourth spot with 6.7% allocation. FNG has accumulated $47.1 million in its asset base. It trades in average daily volume of 70,000 shares and comes with a high expense ratio of 0.85%.

First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index FDN

This is one of the most popular and liquid ETFs in the broad tech space with AUM of $5.9 billion and average daily volume of around 365,000 shares. The fund tracks the Dow Jones Internet Composite Index and charges 54 bps in fees per year. Holding 42 stocks in its basket, Netflix occupies the third position at 5.7%. Internet mobile applications account for 44% of the portfolio while Internet & direct marketing makes up for 20%. The product has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: 5 Tech ETFs That Crushed FANG ETFs in 2017).

PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio PBS

This fund provides exposure to media stocks under one roof by tracking the Dynamic Media Intellidex Index. It seeks to offer capital appreciation by investing in companies that are selected on a variety of investment merit criteria, including price momentum, earnings momentum, quality, management action and value. Holding about 29 stocks in the basket, Netflix takes the third spot at 5.3% of assets. Within the media sector, the product is well spread out across Internet & mobile applications, movies & entertainments, publishing, Internet & direct marketing, cable & satellite and television & radio that account for double-digit exposure each. The product has been able to manage $53.8 million in its asset base while sees lower volume of about 33,000 shares a day. It has 0.63% in expense ratio and a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY

This fund provides exposure to cloud computing securities by tracking the ISE Cloud Computing Index. Holding about 30 stocks in the basket, Netflix takes the second spot with 5% of assets. Software firms dominate this ETF accounting for 40% share while Internet software services (15.1%) and communication equipment (14.3%) round off the next two sectors. The product has amassed $1.4 billion in its asset base and sees a good volume of about 147,000 shares a day. It has 0.60% in expense ratio and a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.

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Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PWRSH-ND INTRNT (PNQI): ETF Research Reports
 
FT-DJ INTRNT IX (FDN): ETF Research Reports
 
PWRSH-DYN MEDIA (PBS): ETF Research Reports
 
FT-CLOUD COMPUT (SKYY): ETF Research Reports
 
ADVS-NW TEC MDA (FNG): ETF Research Reports
 
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_netflix_tops_100_billion_on_subscriber Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:46:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Anthera's Sollpura Strong on Positive Futility in Phase III]]> Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ANTH shares increased almost 11% on Jan 22 after the company announced encouraging results from the second interim futility analysis of a phase III study —– RESULT — on one of its pipeline candidates, Sollpura (liprotamase), in cystic fibrosis patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

The company said that it is on track to release top-line data from the study later in the first quarter of 2018.

Anthera’s share price movement shows that the stock has underperformed the industry in a year’s time. While the stock has tumbled 68.1% during the period, the industry has increased 8.6%.

 

Notably, the RESULT study was initiated in the second quarter of 2017 as an additional trial on EPI patients after the company missed primary endpoints in another phase III SOLUTION program in December 2016.

We remind investors that the SOLUTION study was initiated in October 2015, which barely missed the primary endpoint of a change in the Coefficient of Fat Absorption non-inferiority margin. However, Sollpura achieved the statistical criterion for nitrogen absorption. On the safety front, the candidate was found to be well-tolerated in comparison to Pancreaze, though symptoms associated with malabsorption were modestly more recurrent in the Sollpura arm.

Considering the robust activity demonstrated by Sollpura in the study, the company believed that the deficiency in fat absorption was probably addressed by small changes in the study design including more liberal dose adjustment. Therefore, Anthera subsequently commenced the RESULT analysis.

During the third quarter of 2016, the EASY study was, initiated providing a continued access to Sollpura for patients in the Sollpura arm, who completed the SOLUTION study. The company plan to modify this trial to allow certain patients completing the RESULT study to have continued access until the Biological License Application for Sollpura is approved by the FDA.

Note that Anthera is now conducting another phase III study — SIMPLICITY — on pediatric patients with the aforementioned indication.

 

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Anthera carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, XOMA Corporation XOMA and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SCMP. While Exelixis and XOMA sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sucampo carries a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates have been revised upward from 72 cents to 73 cents for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in each of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 572.92%. Share price of the company has soared 61.3% in a year’s time.

XOMA’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from 99 cents to 42 cents for 2018 over the last 60 days. The company came up with an average beat of 47.92%. The stock has skyrocketed 663.1% in the last 12 months.

Sucampo’s earnings per share estimates have moved north from $1.15 to $1.19 for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 15.63%. The company’s share price has surged 59.8% in a year.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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XOMA Corporation (XOMA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ANTH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SCMP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_anthera_s_sollpura_strong_on_positive_fu Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:45:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Travelers (TRV) Q4 Earnings Surpass, Revenues Improve Y/Y]]> The Travelers Companies, Inc.’s TRV fourth-quarter 2017 core income of $2.28 per share comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a whopping 39%. However, the bottom line deteriorated 28.8% year over year.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

The Travelers Companies, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | The Travelers Companies, Inc. Quote

This year-over-year decline in earnings can be attributed to higher catastrophe loss due to California wildfires and a benefit in the prior-year quarter of $126 million pre-tax ($82 million after-tax) from the settlement of a reinsurance dispute. However, higher net favorable prior-year reserve development in the reported quarter partially offset this downside. Also, the bottom line was boosted by share buybacks.

Full-Year Highlights

For 2017, Travelers reported earnings per share of $7.28, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.6% but declined 28.1% year over year.

Total revenues of $28.9 billion improved 4.6% year over year.

Behind the Q4 Headlines
 
Total revenues of Travelers rose nearly 3.6% from the year-ago quarter to $7.5 billion. Also, the top line exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.1 billion.
 
Net written premiums displayed 6% year-over-year increase to $6.4 billion owing to growth in each business segment — Business and International Insurance, Bond & Specialty Insurance and Personal Insurance.
 
Net investment income fell 4.1% year over year to $601 million on higher private equity returns. Lower private equity returns and a decrease in fixed income returns due to lower reinvestment rates available in the market, led to this downside.

Travelers reported an underwriting gain of $266 million, down 54.9% from the year-ago quarter. Combined ratio contracted 550 basis points (bps) year over year to 95.5% due to higher underlying combined ratio and wider catastrophe loss, partially offset by higher net favorable prior-year reserve development.

At the end of the fourth quarter, statutory capital and surplus was $20.4 billion and the debt-to-capital ratio (excluding after-tax net unrealized investment gains) was 22.5%. This was within the company’s target range of 15-25%. Adjusted book value per share was $83.36, up 3.6% year over year.
 
Segment Update
    
Travelers’ Business and International Insurance unit reported net written premiums of $3.4 billion, up 4.8% year over year. A continued strong retention, an improved renewal premium change and an increase in new business led to this upside.
 
Combined ratio came in at 88.6%, remaining flat year over year.
 
Segment income of $637 million declined 9.1%, mainly due to lower other income owing to a benefit in the prior-year quarter of $126 million pre-tax ($82 million after-tax) from the settlement of a reinsurance dispute.
 
Bond & Specialty Insurance: Net written premiums rose 4.7% year over year to $606 million, primarily driven by improved domestic surety premiums, a sustained solid retention, higher renewal premium change plus an increase in new business in domestic management liability.
 
Combined ratio deteriorated 1590 bps year over year to 83.7% due to higher underlying combined ratio and lower net favorable prior-year reserve development, partially offset by a favorable development on catastrophe loss that occurred earlier in 2017.
 
Segment income plunged 34.9% year over year to $112 million due to lower underlying underwriting gain and net favorable prior-year reserve development.
 
Personal Insurance: Net written premiums increased 8.3% year over year to about $2.4 billion.
 
Combined ratio declined 1070 bps year over year to 108.7% due to higher catastrophe loss, partially offset by a lower underlying combined ratio and net favorable prior-year reserve development when compared with net unfavorable prior-year reserve development in the year-ago quarter.
 
Segment loss of $50 million compared unfavorably with the prior-year quarter’s segment income of $107 million. Noticeably, higher catastrophe loss — partially offset by a higher underlying underwriting gain and net favorable prior-year reserve development plus compared with the net unfavorable prior-year reserve development in the year-ago quarter — led to this result.
 
Dividend and Share Repurchase Update
 
The property & casualty (P&C) insurer returned total capital of $549 million to shareholders in the reported quarter. This included a buyback of 2.6 million shares worth $351 million in the quarter under review. The company is now left with shares worth $4.6 billion for repurchase under its existing authorization at the end of the fourth quarter.
 
The company’s board announced a quarterly dividend of 72 cents per share in the reported quarter, payable on Mar 30, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business as of Mar 9, 2018.
 
Zacks Rank
 
Travelers has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

Insurance Stocks Worth a Look

Among the other players from the insurance industry having reported fourth-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line at Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO and MGIC Investment Corporation MTG surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

American Financial Group, Inc. AFG provides property and casualty insurance products in the United States. The company, set to release fourth-quarter results on Jan 31, has an Earnings ESP of +1.82% and a Zacks Rank of 2.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_travelers_trv_q4_earnings_surpass_rev Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:41:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Can High Revenues Drive Northern Trust's (NTRS) Q4 Earnings?]]> Northern Trust Corporation’s NTRS fourth-quarter results, scheduled for Jan 24, are expected to reflect a year-over-year rise in earnings and revenues.

Notably, the company provides majority of its asset management services through the C&IS unit, which generates more than 50% of total revenues. A rise in revenues in this segment will boost overall revenues for the company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.41 billion for sales for the to-be-reported quarter reflects a year-over-year improvement of 13.3%.

Moreover, Northern Trust uses a lag effect to calculate its corporate custody and investment management fees, i.e. the computations are based on the prior quarter-end valuations. Since the performance of equity markets were relatively decent in the fourth quarter, the company will likely be able to register growth in custody, servicing and management fees.

Here are the other factors that might influence the company’s Q4 performance:

Modest Rise in Net Interest Income (NII): Overall loan growth remained decent in the quarter. Given the improvement in loan balances, along with the effect of rising interest rates, Northern Trust should record an increase in NII.

Foreign Exchange Trading Revenues to Remain Stable: Given the mixed trend in foreign exchange (“FX”) trading volatility and volumes in the fourth quarter, the company’s revenues from FX trading might remain flat for the quarter.

Marginal Increase in Expenses: Despite some cost-saving initiatives, Northern Trust’s continued investments in new business activities may lead to a marginal rise in expenses. Further, management expects transaction and integration costs relating to the acquisition of UBS Asset Management’s fund administration units in Luxembourg and Switzerland to be $8-$10 million in the fourth quarter.

Adverse Impact of New Tax Code: The tax reform might result in elevated operating expenses from one-time bonus payments, higher charitable contributions and investment losses from securities portfolio restructurings. Also, though the company has not provided any information about the write-down of deferred tax assets (DTAs), it might record a significant one-time charge in the quarter.

Let’s have a look at what our quantitative model predicts:

Our proven model indicates that chances of Northern Trust beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate are high as it has the right combination of the two key ingredients — positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or at least 3 (Hold).

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for Northern Trust is +0.09%.

Zacks Rank: The combination of Northern Trust’s Zacks Rank #2 and a positive ESP makes us confident of an earnings beat.

However, activities of the company during the quarter under review were unable to win analysts’ confidence. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings of $1.30 remained unchanged over the last seven days. Nevertheless, the figure reflects a year-over-year improvement of 17.1%.
 

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some other stocks you may want to consider, as according to our model, these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

The Earnings ESP for Legg Mason, Inc. LM is +0.18% and the stock flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1. The company is scheduled to release December quarter-end results on Jan 24. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. TROW is slated to release results on Jan 30. The company has an Earnings ESP of +1.49% and carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN has an Earnings ESP of +0.98% and holds a Zacks Rank of 2. It is scheduled to report results on Jan 30.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_can_high_revenues_drive_northern_trust_s Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:38:00 +0300
<![CDATA[PetMed (PETS) Q3 Earnings Top Estimates, Reorder Sales Solid]]> PetMed Express, Inc. PETS announced earnings per share (EPS) of 44 cents for the third quarter of fiscal 2018, up 83.3% from the year-ago quarter’s 24 cents. Also, the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 33.3%. This year-over-year rise in earnings was driven by an increase in sales and improved margins.

Net sales in the reported quarter rose 13.7% year over year to $60.1 million, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.4%.

Per this leading pet pharmacy in Americas, the upside in sales was a result of increased new orders and reorders during the quarter.

In the reported quarter, reorder sales increased 13.4% to $50.9 million on a year-over-year basis while new order sales rose 15.5% to $9.2 million.

Average order value was approximately $86 in the quarter compared with $81 in the year-ago quarter. We note that the variation in average order value is mainly driven by a shift of sales to higher priced items.

PetMed Express, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

PetMed Express, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | PetMed Express, Inc. Quote

 

Per the company, the seasonality in its business is mainly because of the proportion of flea, tick and heartworm medications in the product mix. Spring and summer are considered peak seasons while fall and winter represent off-seasons.

During the quarter under review, PetMed acquired 106,000 new customers, up from 99,000 a year ago. Roughly, 84% of all orders was generated from its website (compared with 83% in the prior-year quarter).

Gross margin expanded 502 basis points (bps) year over year to 31.9% in the quarter under review. General and administrative expenses were up 8.5% year over year to $5.8 million. Also, advertising expenses rose 30.2% to $4.1 million. This led to a 16.6% increase in adjusted operating expenses (without depreciation expense), which amounted to $9.9 million. Nevertheless, adjusted operating margin in the quarter expanded 462 bps to 19.9% from the year-ago quarter.

PetMed exited the fiscal third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $80.9 million compared with $68.4 million at the end of second-quarter fiscal 2017. The company also announced a 25% hike in quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share, payable to shareholders of record as of Feb 5, 2018.

Our Take

PetMed successfully delivered yet another quarter of solid results. In the fiscal third quarter, the company once again topped on both revenues and earnings. We are also encouraged to note the stellar growth in reorder and new order sales in the quarter.

The company is also striving to implement several strategies to revitalize its top line. These include an increased focus on advertising efficiency to boost new order sales as well as shifting sales to higher margin items while also expanding its product offerings.

PetMed currently offers a wide range of products catering to dogs, cats and horses besides working on upgrading its existing portfolio.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

PetMed sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). A few other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are Amedisys, Inc. AMED, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. BIO and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. ISRG.

Amedisys has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 18.5%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Bio-Rad Laboratories has a Zacks Rank of 1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. The company has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 25%.

Intuitive Surgical has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 9.6%. The stock has a Zacks Rank of 2.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_petmed_pets_q3_earnings_top_estimates Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:35:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Is USAA Aggressive Growth Fund (USAUX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?]]> On the lookout for an All Cap Growth fund? Starting with USAA Aggressive Growth Fund USAUX is one possibility. USAUX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

USAUX is part of the All Cap Growth category, which is a segment that boasts an array of other possible options. All Cap Growth mutual funds aim to invest in various equity securities, regardless of company size that exhibit growth characteristics. These portfolios have holdings across the cap levels-- small, medium and large-cap-- in order to increase diversification throughout the fund.

History of Fund/Manager

USAA Group is responsible for USAUX, and the company is based out of San Antonio, TX. USAA Aggressive Growth Fund debuted in October of 1981. Since then, USAUX has accumulated assets of about $1.34 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 15.62%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 11.56%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 10.44%, the standard deviation of USAUX over the past three years is 11.18%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 10.63% compared to the category average of 11.03%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. USAUX lost 52.56% in the most recent bear market and underperformed comparable funds by 1.34%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.02, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. With a negative alpha of -0.38, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, USAUX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.81% compared to the category average of 1.11%. From a cost perspective, USAUX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $3,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, USAA Aggressive Growth Fund has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the All Cap Growth segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_is_usaa_aggressive_growth_fund_usaux_a Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:35:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Allegheny's (ATI) Earnings & Revenues Top Estimates in Q4]]> Allegheny Technologies Inc. ATI reported net earnings of $1.7 million or a penny per share for fourth-quarter 2017, compared with $9.9 million or 9 cents per share recorded a year-ago.

Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings came in at 27 cents per share for the quarter, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14 cents.

Revenues for the quarter rose 14% year over year to $910 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $904.5 million.

FY17 Results

For full-year 2017, the company reported net loss of $91.9 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with a prior-year loss of $640.9 million, or $5.97. Adjusted earnings for the year came in at $54.6 million or 48 cents per share, as against adjusted loss of $97.4 million or 91 cents recorded a year ago.

Allegheny reported revenues of $3.5 billion in 2017, up around 13% from $3.13 billion reported in 2016.

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Allegheny Technologies Incorporated Quote

 

Segment Highlights

Revenues from the High Performance Materials & Components (HPMC) segment improved 9% year over year to $517.7 million in the fourth quarter due to higher sales of forged and cast components and nickel-based and specialty alloys.

Operating profit increased to $65.8 million from $53.8 million in the prior-year quarter. The segment’s profit reflects higher productivity from increasing aerospace and defense sales, an improved product mix of next-generation nickel alloys and forgings for the aero engine market and benefits of the 2016 titanium operation-restructuring activities.

The Flat-Rolled Products (FRP) segment’s sales rose 23% year over year to $392.2 million on the back of higher shipment volume for both high-value products and modestly higher selling prices of standard stainless and high-value products.

The segment’s operating profit came in at $22.4 million as against the year-ago quarter loss of $0.8 million. Results reflect favorable impact of an improved product mix, especially titanium and nickel-alloy products, and more stable prices of raw materials.

Financial Position

Allegheny’s cash in hand as of Dec 31, 2017 was $142 million, down 38.3% year over year. Long-term debt fell 13.6% to $1,530.6 million.

The company generated operating cash flows of $76 million in the quarter.  

Outlook

Allegheny expects continued operating margin improvement and revenue growth in its HPMC unit in 2018 resulting from improved asset utilization and ongoing aerospace market demand growth. Allegheny also expects its FRP unit to build on the operational improvements and product mix benefits attained last year and improve operating margins.

However, the company expects first-quarter 2018 results to be unfavorably impacted by roughly $10 million, on a sequential basis, owing to reduced ferrochrome surcharges and required accounting changes on retirement benefit cost capitalization in inventory. The company sees the production ramp-up of the proposed joint venture with Tsingshan Stainless to meaningfully benefit FRP results in second-half 2018.

Price Performance

Shares of Allegheny have moved up 13.9% over the last three months outperforming the industry’s gain of 8.4%.

 


 

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Allegheny currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Methanex Corporation MEOH, Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLD and BASF SE BASFY, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Methanex has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Its shares have soared 27.8% over a year.

Steel Dynamics has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12%. Its shares have rallied 28.1% in a year’s time.

BASF has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.7%. Its shares gained 24.9% over a year.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_allegheny_s_ati_earnings_revenues_to Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:25:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Kimberly-Clark (KMB) Up on Solid Q4 Earnings, Savings Goals]]> Kimberly-Clark Corporation KMB reported fourth-quarter 2017 results, wherein both top and bottom lines improved year over year and the latter also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second consecutive quarter. Moreover, management announced 2018 guidance, taking into account the expected gains from its Focused on Reducing Costs Everywhere (FORCE) program and the 2018 restructuring plan.

Additionally, the company announced a dividend hike, which along with the quarterly performance drove this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock by 1.4% in the pre-market trading session. Also, we note that the stock has gained 5.2% in the past three months outperforming the industry’s upside of 0.7%.





The quarterly earnings of $1.57 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54 and increased 8.3% year over year. The year-over-year growth was driven by cost savings from FORCE program as well as reduced effective tax rate stemming from the latest tax reforms and associated activities. Notably, adjusted effective tax rate in the fourth quarter was 29.7%, as compared with 35.4% in the year-ago period.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


 

Kimberly-Clark Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Kimberly-Clark Corporation Quote

 

Quarter in Detail

Kimberly-Clark’s sales advanced 1% to $4,582 million, while it lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,597 million. Sales were positively impacted by currency movements by more than 1%.

However, organic sales dipped 1% owing to a 2% fall in net selling prices, somewhat compensated by improved volumes and product mix. Within North America, organic sales at consumer products decreased 3%, while it climbed 1% at K-C Professional. Internationally, organic sales advanced 4% in developing and emerging markets, whereas it dropped 3% in developed regions.

Adjusted operating profit fell 2.7% to $836 million due to lower net selling prices, increased input costs on account of greater costs of pulp and other raw materials. This was partly negated by higher volumes, favorable product mix, lower marketing, research and general spending and cost savings of $95 million from the FORCE program.

Segment Details

Personal Care Products:
The segment includes products like disposable diapers, training/ youth/swim pants, baby wipes, feminine and incontinence care products.

Segment sales of $2,274 million went up 1% during the quarter, courtesy of improved product mix and volumes; benefits from currency and buyout of the company’s joint venture in India, somewhat countered by lower net selling prices. Sales improved in the developing and emerging markets, while it remained soft in North America and developed markets outside North America.

Segment operating profit fell 2% to $483 million in the quarter owing to input cost inflation and lower selling prices, partly offset by cost savings, better product mix and reduced expenditure on market research and general spending.

Consumer Tissue: The segment includes bathroom tissue, paper towels, napkins and related products for household use.

Segment sales dipped 1% to $1,496 million in the quarter owing to a decline in net selling prices and volumes, while the segment witnessed some positive impacts from currency movements. Segment sales dropped year over year in North America, while it increased in developed regions outside North America. Sales in the segment also depicted growth in the developing and emerging regions.

Segment operating profit plunged 13% to $258 million in the quarter on account of weak sales and input cost inflation, somewhat cushioned by cost savings and lower market research and general costs.

K-C Professional (KCP) & Other: The segment consists of facial and bathroom tissue, paper towels, napkins, wipers and a range of safety products.

Segment sales grew 3% from the prior-year to $803 million in the quarter, backed by growth in volumes and positive impacts from currency rates. Sales improved in North America and developing and emerging markets. Sales also improved in the developed markets outside North America.

Segment operating profit rose 3% to $151 million, gaining from cost savings, lower market research and general costs and higher volumes. These were partially offset by input cost inflation.

Other Financial Updates

The company ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $616 million, long-term debt of $6,472 million and stockholders' equity of $882 million.

Further, Kimberly-Clark generated cash flow of $2,929 million from operating activities during 2017. During the same time-frame, management incurred capital expenditures of $785 million, while it expects it to be roughly $1.1 billion in 2018.

During the quarter, the company bought back 0.9 million shares for $100 million. Including this, the company repurchased 7.2 million shares for $900 million during 2017. In 2018, the company anticipates making share buybacks worth $0.7-$0.9 billion.

Additionally, management announced a 3.1% hike in its dividend, from 97 cents per share to $1.00 per share. This will be payable on on April 3, 2018 to shareholders of record on March 9, 2018.

2018 Global Restructuring & FORCE Programs to Drive Savings

Management remains encouraged about its 2018 Global Restructuring Program, which marks the company’s biggest restructuring in a long time now. This plan is likely to enhance the company’s underlying profitability, help it compete better and and provide greater flexibility to undertake growth-oriented investments. Delving deeper, we note that the program is expected to simplify Kimberly-Clark’s overhead organization and manufacturing supply chain structures.

Management expects pre-tax savings of $500 million to $550 million from this program by the end of 2021, backed by production supply chain efficiencies and reduction in workforce. Notably, the program will benefit all segments of the company, alongside being gainful for each major geographical region. Moreover, management plans to shut or divest nearly 10 manufacturing facilities, as well as expand production capacity at various other facilities to enhance scale and curtail costs.

In fact, in this regard, the company expects to sell or exit some low-margin businesses that deliver about 1% of net sales, mainly concentrated in the consumer tissue unit. The company expects spending $1,500-$1,700 million by 2020 end, to execute this program. This includes pre-tax cash restructuring charges of about $900-1,000 million and additional capital expenditure of about $600-$700 million. In 2018, the company expects incurring pre-tax restructuring charges of about $1,200-$1,350 million.

Apart from this program, the company remains on track with its robust FORCE program. In this regard, the company anticipates cost savings of more than $1.5 billion to be generated over the four-year period from 2018 to 2021. This will stem from management’s focus on enriching productivity at manufacturing facilities; optimizing design and raw material expenses and attaining distribution efficiencies.

On a combined basis, Kimberly-Clark expects cost savings of more than $2 billion from the FORCE program and 2018 Global Restructuring Program, over the next four years.

Guidance for 2018

Kimberly-Clark provided its overall outlook for 2018. Net sales are expected to rise in a range of 1-2%, while organic sales are anticipated to climb nearly 1% on volume growth. Management stated that it expects net selling prices and product mix to remain similar in 2018, or be slightly higher than 2017. Sales are likely to remain neutral to receive a 1% benefit from currency changes, and it is also likely to get a boost from the buyout of the company’s joint venture in India.

Adjusted operating profit is expected to jump 2-5%, buoyed by cost savings of nearly $400 million from the FORCE program and $50-$70 million from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. However, management expects input cost inflation of about $300-$400 million.

Interest costs are expected to tank nearly 20% and effective tax rate is envisioned in a band of 23% to 26%.

Considering all factors, the company envisions adjusted earnings per share to grow roughly 11-16% year over year to about $6.90-$7.20. Notably, the current Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2018 is pegged much lower at $6.56, which is likely to witness upward revision.

Looking for More? Check These Trending Consumer Staples Stocks

Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. BUFF, with a long-term EPS growth rate of 16%, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. OLLI with a splendid earnings surprise record has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23.5%. Notably, the stock flaunts a Zacks Rank #2.

Tupperware Brands Corporation TUP, also with a Zacks Rank #2, has surpassed earnings estimates in the past four quarters. The company has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_kimberly_clark_kmb_up_on_solid_q4_earn Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:24:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Big Morning for Q4 Earnings: JNJ, PG, TRV, KMB and More]]> Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sandwiched in between Netflix’s NFLX strong quarterly earnings report after the bell yesterday and Texas Instruments TXN and United Air Lines UAL following today’ close, we see a fresh group of Q4 earnings hitting the tape. This week marks the first of several where hundreds of publicly traded companies bring out their results from last quarter.

Healthcare drug, device and packaged goods giant Johnson & Johnson JNJ put up a mixed Q4 report, with earnings beating estimates but revenues falling a tad short. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company reported $1.74 per share, surpassing the Zacks consensus by 2 cents, whereas revenues in the quarter of $20.20 billion fell slightly beneath the $20.22 billion we had been looking for.

However, its Pharma unit grew 17.6% year over year to $9.7 billion, with full-year 2018 earnings guidance between $8.00-8.20 well ahead of the $7.86 expected. That said, revenue guidance for the full year is currently $80.6 billion-81.4 billion, below the $81.55 billion in the Zacks consensus. For more on JNJ’s earnings, click here.

J&J’s competitor Procter & Gamble PG reported positive results in its fiscal Q2 report ahead of today’s opening bell. Earnings of $1.19 per share beat our consensus estimate of $1.15, on revenues of $17.4 billion outpacing the $17.34 billion anticipated. The Zacks Rank #3 company reported organic growth of 2% on both revenues and volume. For more on PG’s earnings, click here.

Domestic telecom leader Verizon VZ also posted a mixed outcome for its Q4 period, but in reverse: the company missed bottom-line expectations of 88 cents per share by 2 cents, while quarterly sales of $33,955 million surpassed the Zacks consensus of $33,146 million. Verizon, also a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported post-paid churn coming down while total retail connections rose 1.8% year over year. For more on VZ’s earnings, click here.

Paper and sanitary products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark KMB also beat bottom-line expectations, reporting $1.57 per share on $4.58 billion. We had been looking for $1.54 per share and $4.60 billion, which the Zacks Rank #3 company fell just short of. Full-year guidance between $6.90-7.20 is well ahead of the $6.56 in the Zacks consensus. For more on KMB’s earnings, click here.

Finally, Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated insurer Travelers TRV far outpaced expectations of $1.64 per share when it reported $2.28 per share this morning. This is roughly down 29% year over year, however. Revenues of $7.5 billion topped the $7.1 billion expected. While these headline numbers were solid, underwriting profit for the company fell 55%. For more on TRV’s earnings, click here.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_big_morning_for_q4_earnings_jnj_pg_tr Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:19:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Prologis (PLD) Q4 FFO Beats Estimates on Higher Revenues]]> Have you been eager to see how Prologis Inc. PLD performed in Q4 in comparison with the market expectations? Let’s quickly scan through the key facts from this San Francisco, CA – based industrial real estate investment trust’s (REIT) earnings release this morning:

A FFO Beat

Prologis came out with core funds from operations ("FFO") per share of 67 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents.

Better-than-expected growth in revenues was primarily responsible for this beat.

How Was the Earnings Surprise Trend?

Prologis has a decent earnings surprise history. Before posting a beat in Q4, the company delivered positive surprise in two out of prior four quarters and in-line result in the other two occasions, as shown in the chart below.

Overall, the company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 2.3% in the trailing four quarters.

Prologis, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
 


Prologis, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
| Prologis, Inc. Quote


Revenue Came Higher Than Expected

Prologis’ rental and other revenues amounted to $551.8 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $534.3 million.

Key Developments to Note:

Prologis provided its core FFO per share outlook for full-year 2018. The company projects core FFO per share in the range of $2.85-$2.95.

What Zacks Rank Says

Prologis currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, since the latest earnings performance is yet to be reflected in the estimate revisions, the rank is subject to change. While things apparently look favorable, it all depends on what sense the just-released report makes to the analysts.

(You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.)

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share. FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

Check back later for our full write up on this PLD earnings report!

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>
 


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To read this article on Zacks.com click here.]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_prologis_pld_q4_ffo_beats_estimates_on Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:18:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Is Fidelity Select Brokerage and Investment Management (FSLBX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?]]> On the lookout for a Sector - Finance fund? Starting with Fidelity Select Brokerage and Investment Management FSLBX is one possibility. FSLBX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FSLBX is classified in the Sector - Finance segment by Zacks, and this area is full of possibilities. The financial space is notoriously large, complex, and heavily-regulated, and Sector - Finance mutual funds give investors a stable, diversified approach to investing in this industry. These funds can include everything from banks and investment giants to exchanges and insurance companies, though investors should note that interest rates could have a big impact.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FSLBX. Fidelity Select Brokerage and Investment Management debuted in July of 1985. Since then, FSLBX has accumulated assets of about $446.18 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Daniel Dittler, has been in charge of the fund since July of 2015.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 14.42%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 7.77%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. The standard deviation of FSLBX over the past three years is 19.19% compared to the category average of 15.93%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 17.04% compared to the category average of 13.87%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. In FSLBX's case, the fund lost 59.94% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 0.68%. This makes the fund a possibly better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.45, so it is likely going to be more volatile than the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. FSLBX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -6.67, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 77.34% of its holdings in stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $25.91 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Finance
  2. Other

With turnover at about 146%, this fund makes more trades in a given year than the category average.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, FSLBX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.78% compared to the category average of 1.45%. From a cost perspective, FSLBX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $2,500, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Select Brokerage and Investment Management has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Select Brokerage and Investment Management looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Sector - Finance segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_is_fidelity_select_brokerage_and_investm Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:18:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Will Top-Line Growth Augment 3M's (MMM) Earnings in Q4?]]> Diversified industrial goods manufacturer 3M Company MMM is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2017 results before the opening bell on Jan 25. A favorable macroeconomic environment is likely to boost the revenues for the company in the quarter.

Whether this can translate into bottom-line growth remains to be seen.

Top-Line Expansion

With primary focus on organic growth, 3M has continually invested in infrastructure and commercialization capability. Moreover, substantial investments in R&D coupled with the ability to convert such high R&D spends into up-cycle market share gains and strong pricing powers determine the company’s success.

In October 2017, the company decided to divest its Communication Markets business for $900 million in order to focus on its core businesses. Since 2012, 3M has done significant portfolio restructuring — divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and making newer investments in more lucrative markets. The objective of this endeavor is to improve customer relevance and productivity through a leaner operating structure.

Such concerted efforts by the company to augment its leading position in the market are expected to favorably impact its revenues in the quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 3M’s fourth-quarter revenues is $7,878 million, significantly higher than reported revenues of $7,329 million in the prior-year quarter. Higher revenues are expected across all the segments of the company. The Industrial segment, which had grossed more than 33% of the company’s revenues in the third quarter of 2017, is expected to generate $2,682 million, higher than the reported figure of $2,524 million of the prior-year quarter.

Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Health Care and Consumer segments are expected to generate revenues of $1,455 million, $1,260 million, $1,488 million and $1,135 million, respectively, up from $1,301 million, $1,208 million, $1,379 million and $1,094 million reported in the prior-year quarter.

Other Key Factors

At present, the company is focused on three key levers namely, portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation. For portfolio management, 3M intends to concentrate on its most profit-making and fastest-growing businesses. To this effect, the company has taken steps to prune its businesses from 40 to 24. In 2018, 3M plans to increase investments in research and development to $1.9 billion or about 6% of sales for continued focus on the second lever. The third lever is enabling the company to better serve customers with even more agility and efficiency.

Moreover, 3M is standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system. The company expects these efforts to result in $500-$700 million in annual operational savings by 2020, and an additional $500 million through reduction in working capital requirements.

Our proven model conclusively shows that 3M is likely to beat earnings this quarter as it possesses the key components. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is perfectly the case here as you will see below:

Zacks ESP: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +1.72% as the former is pegged at $2.07 and the latter at $2.03. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

3M Company Price and EPS Surprise

 

3M Company Price and EPS Surprise | 3M Company Quote

Zacks Rank: 3M has a Zacks Rank #2. This increases the predictive power of ESP and makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing a negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Apple Inc. AAPL has an Earnings ESP of +1.12% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AmerisourceBergen Corporation ABC has an Earnings ESP of +1.50% and a Zacks Rank #2.

American Financial Group, Inc. AFG has an Earnings ESP of +1.21% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_will_top_line_growth_augment_3m_s_mmm Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:09:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Trump's First Year in Office: 5 Must-See ETF Charts]]> President Donald J. Trump completed his first year in office on Jan 20. Since he took office, Trump has made a series of diplomatic decisions and proposed anti-trade policies. Also, the U.S. economy is witnessing exceptional growth and the stock market is firing on all cylinders.

The stock market has added $6.9 trillion in market cap since Trump was elected. This is nearly half of what the market grew by in all eight years of the Obama administration, per Bespoke. With this, the Russell 3000, which contains roughly 98.5% of the U.S. stock market cap, surpassed $30 trillion for the first time last week (read: U.S. ETFs in Focus as Market Cap Hits $30 trillion).

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 saw gains of nearly 24% in Trump's first year in office, much better than the 13% average of first-year performances since 1928. The Dow Jones surged more than 31%, representing the index's best performance during a president's first year since Roosevelt, when the index skyrocketed 96.5%.

The U.S. economy is expanding at the fastest clip in three years in best back-to-back quarters with at least 3% GDP growth and the expectation of same growth for the third consecutive quarter. This is especially true as economists in CNBC/Moody's Analytics Survey upped their median fourth-quarter GDP forecast by 0.4% to 3%. NatWest Markets raised fourth-quarter GDP to 3.5% from 2.7% while the Atlanta Fed GDPNow shows fourth-quarter growth of 3.3%, up from 2.8% earlier in the week.

The job market remains robust with the economy adding 2 million jobs in 2017 and unemployment at the lowest level of 4.1% since December 2000. Further, Americans are highly optimistic about the economy, with consumer confidence hovering near the highest level in 17 years. According to the Conference Board's index, consumer confidence hit 122.1 in December, slightly below the 17-year high of 128.6 set in November.

This combined with the optimism over the biggest tax overhaul in decades has raised the appeal for riskier assets. The massive $1.5 tax cut will save billions in the corporate world, boosting earnings and reflation trade. It would further spark a wave of share buybacks, dividend hikes and mergers & acquisitions. All these have been fueling a close to nine-year bull market (read: 10 Hottest ETF Themes for 2018).

Given this, we took a look at the winners and losers in the major areas of the market during Trump’s first year in office. Further, we have plotted each of these in the chart for a clearer view of their performance:

Broad Equity Market

Thanks to solid corporate earnings and improving global growth, the major indexes have hit a series of highs downplaying all the political ills including the latest government shutdown. Looking at Trump’s one-year performance, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY has risen about 24.2% and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA is up about 31.8%. The PowerShares QQQ ETF QQQ, which tracks the Nasdaq 100 index, is the biggest winner with gains exceeding 35.4% in the past one year.



Sectors

More than half of the S&P 500 companies are up 20% or more since Trump’s inauguration and seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors have generated double-digit returns with information technology and financials leading the way with 43.4% and 30% gains, respectively. SPDR Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK and SPDR Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund XLF are up nearly 26.4% and 27.9%, respectively.

Telecommunication is the only worst performing sector, having lost 2.4% over the one-year period. Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETF VOX, which offers exposure to companies that provide telephone, data-transmission, cellular, or wireless communication services, shed 7.6% in a year (read: 3 ETF Losers of 2017 That Can Rebound in Q1).



Bond & Gold

With three rate hikes in 2017, the Fed is on track for three lift-offs this year again with the probability of more aggressive hikes if tax reforms boost economic growth and reflation as expected. This has resulted in a rise of yields, dulling the attractiveness for both the Treasury bonds and gold. However, North Korea tension, Middle East tension, and political instability in Washington led to investors’ flight to safety. As such, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF TLT tracking the long end of the yield curve has added 2.4% during the first year of Trump presidency while SPDR Gold Trust ETF GLD is up 9.9% (read: Prepare for Bond Bear Market With These ETFs).

Currency

While the U.S. dollar had surged after the election in anticipation of strong economic growth and higher interest rates, the rally petered out after Trump’s inauguration amid weak economic data, geopolitical tensions, political turmoil in Washington and a dovish Fed outlook. The pain accelerated following the failure of the healthcare bill that has faded hopes in the implementation of Trump's pro-growth agenda. Additionally, rejuvenated economic growth in Europe and the prospect of an end to its cheap monetary policy era has dealt an additional blow to the greenback.

As such, the U.S. dollar suffered the first annual decline in five years, falling in double digits in 2017. PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund UUP, tracking the dollar index, shed 9% in a year (read: ETFs & Stocks to Buy on Falling Dollar).

Meanwhile, euro and Japanese yen have gained strength during this time period. Improving the European economy and the positive political development in the Euro zone pushed euro higher while yen has appreciated thanks to rising geopolitical concerns and a positive move on the Britain deal. Guggenheim CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust FXY is up 2.1% and Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust FXE is up 13.3%.



International Market Outperform

International markets outperformed during Trump’s first year in office as investors fled American equities on political instability in the United States, lofty valuation as well as the prospects to end the cheap monetary policy era. Additionally, a strong pickup in economic growth in many parts of the world added to the strength in the international bourses (read: International Markets Beat US in 2017: 3 Best Country ETFs).

Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF VEU targeting the international equity market has gained about 26.3% during one-year period. Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF VEA, which holds a diversified group of stocks from developed markets excluding the United States, is up 25.1% while iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF EEM targeting emerging markets are up 36.4%, easily outpaced the gain of 24.2% for SPY.



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To read this article on Zacks.com click here.]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_trump_s_first_year_in_office_5_must_see Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:08:00 +0300
<![CDATA[State Street (STT) Q4 Earnings Beat, Revenues Improve Y/Y]]> State Street Corporation’s STT fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of $1.83 per share handily outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.71. Also, it was 23.6% above the prior-year quarter. The figure excluded one-time net costs of $270 million or 72 cents per share related to the tax reform and other significant non-recurring items.

Higher net interest income (reflecting rise in interest rates), fee income and a decline in operating expenses supported the results. Also, improvement in assets under custody and administration and assets under management (AUM) acted as a tailwind. However, lower trading servicing fees was an undermining factor.

After considering several notable items, net income available to common shareholders came in at $334 million or 89 cents per share compared with $557 million or $1.43 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues Improve, Expenses Rise

Revenues, on a GAAP basis totaled $2.85 billion, increasing 12.5% from the prior-year quarter. However, the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.98 billion.

Net interest revenues, on an operating basis, jumped 20.3% from the year-ago quarter to $658 million. The rise was mainly driven by higher interest rates, loan growth and disciplined liability pricing. Also, net interest margin increased 31 basis points year over year to 1.38%.

Fee revenues grew 5.7% from the prior-year quarter to $2.33 billion. All components of fee income showed improvement except total trading services revenues.

On an operating basis, non-interest expenses were $2 billion, down 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. The fall was due to lower other costs and compensation and employee benefits expenses.

As of Dec 31, 2017, total assets under custody and administration were $33.1 trillion, up 15.1% year over year. Moreover, AUM was $2.8 trillion, up 12.7% year over year.

Strong Capital and Profitability Ratios

Under Basel III (Advanced approach), estimated Tier 1 common ratio was 12.3% as of Dec 31, 2017, down from 12.6% as of Sep 30, 2017.

Return on common equity (on an operating basis) came in at 14.1% compared with 12.5% in the year-ago quarter.

Our Viewpoint

State Street is well poised to benefit from higher interest rates and synergies from the acquisition of GE Asset Management. Also, the company remains on track to improve efficiency through its multi-year restructuring plan. However, mounting expenses are expected to continue hurting the bottom line in the upcoming quarters.

State Street Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

State Street Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | State Street Corporation Quote

State Street carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Major Regional Banks

B&T Corporation’s BBT fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 84 cents per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 80 cents. The bottom line recorded 7.7% improvement from the year-ago quarter.

Comerica Inc. CMA pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 5.8% in fourth-quarter 2017. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.28 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21.

KeyCorp’s KEY fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Also, this compares favorably with 31 cents recorded in the prior-year quarter.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_state_street_stt_q4_earnings_beat_rev Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:08:00 +0300
<![CDATA[What to Expect From Quest Diagnostics (DGX) in Q4 Earnings]]> Quest Diagnostics Inc. DGX is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and fiscal 2017 earnings results before the opening bell on Feb 1.

Last quarter, the company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by four cents delivering a positive earnings surprise of 2.96%. Also, it outperformed the consensus mark in all the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 7.4%.

Let’s take a look at how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Factors at Play

After a phase of sustained drag for several quarters in the company’s revenue per requisition performance, the last couple of quarters saw a slight rebound. However, it still remains to be seen if this upside is here to stay or not. The company’s two Professional Lab Services engagements — WJ Barnabas Health and HealthONE System of HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA) — carry lower revenue per requisition due to the nature of work.

Overall, we believe a lack of employment and slow growth of commercially-insured lives to continuously affect the company’s volumes (measured by the number of requisitions) till the economy turns around for better.

This apart, unit price headwinds were less than 100 bps in the third quarter. While unit price challenges hovered in moderate ranges (at approximately 1%) over the last few years, the company continues to expect the same for the rest of 2017 too.

Also, in the last couple of years, Quest Diagnostics faced several reimbursement issues hurting its revenues. The company is concerned about the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) proposal related to Protecting Access to Medicare Act. We believe, reimbursement pressure will be reflected as an overhang in the company’s performance this soon-to-be-reported quarter too.

Notably in December, the company as a key member of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (“ACLA”) has come forward to support a lawsuit filed by ACLA against the Acting Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The lawsuit charged that the CMS, operating under the purview of HHS, has failed to follow a congressional directive to implement a market-based laboratory payment system.

However, come what may, this leaves no impact on the company’s yet-to-be-reported quarter’s revenue numbers.

On a positive note, Quest Diagnostics seems well-aligned with its two-point growth agenda to accelerate the same and drive operational excellence.

We are also optimistic about the company’s successful execution of its strategy to build esoteric testing business and boost profitable growth.

Additionally, Quest Diagnostics has recently witnessed a significant improvement via infectious disease testing, prescription drug monitoring and industry-leading wellness business. Therefore we expect these growth drivers to replicate the company’s success story in its upcoming quarterly results, having thus remained active throughout, and drive the same primary metrics as well like the preceding quarter.

We strongly believe all these recent developments to have significantly contributed to the company’s top line in the fourth quarter.

The company expects 2017 revenues of approximately $7.71 billion (annualized growth of approximately 3%). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year revenues is pegged at $7.94 billion, higher than the guided range.

Moreover, the company’s 2017 adjusted EPS range remains within $5.62-$5.67. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.96 for the period also remains above the company’s projected range.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Quest Diagnostics is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. But that is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Quest Diagnostics has an Earnings ESP of -1.74%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate of $1.37 is pegged lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Quest Diagnostics has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we need a positive ESP to be confident about an earnings surprise. Hence, this combination leaves surprise prediction inconclusive.

We caution against the Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks Worth a Look

Here are a few medical stocks worth considering with the right combination of elements to surpass estimates this time around:

Bio-Rad Laboratories BIO has an Earnings ESP of +4.45% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Myriad Genetics MYGN has an Earnings ESP of +0.42% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

Henry Schein HSIC has an Earnings ESP of +0.09% and is a Zacks #3 Ranked player.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_what_to_expect_from_quest_diagnostics_d Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:01:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Is SKF AB (SKFRY) a Great Stock for Value Investors?]]> Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put SKF AB SKFRY stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, SKF AB has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 21.68, as you can see in the chart below:



This level actually compares favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 22.48. While SKF AB’s current PE level puts it above its midpoint of 17.20 over the past five years, it stands well below the highs for the stock, suggesting that it could be a solid entry point.



Further, the stock’s PE compares favorably with the Zacks Industrial Products sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 25.55. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.
 


We should also point out that SKF AB has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 16.20, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for SKF AB stock in the near term too.

P/S Ratio

Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock’s price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.

Right now, SKF AB has a P/S ratio of about 1.28. This is much lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.56 right now. This makes the stock undervalued from the P/S aspect too.



Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, SKF AB currently has a Value Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes SKF AB a solid choice for value investors.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though SKF AB might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth Score of D and a Momentum Score of F. This gives SKFRY a Zacks VGM score — or its overarching fundamental grade — of D. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been slightly discouraging. The full year estimate has seen one downward and no upward revision in the past 60 days. Thus, the full year estimate has inched lower by 2.2% over the past two months. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

AB SKF Price and Consensus
 

AB SKF Price and Consensus | AB SKF Quote

Nonetheless, the company has a solid long-term earnings growth rate of 13.9%, and it sports a Zacks Rank 32 (Buy), which is why we are looking for outperformance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

SKF AB is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Further, this Zacks Rank #2 company enjoys a solid Zacks Industry Rank (among top 35% out of more than 250 industries). In fact, over the past two years, the industry has clearly outperformed the broader market, as you can see below:



So, value investors might want to wait for estimates to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
AB SKF (SKFRY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_is_skf_ab_skfry_a_great_stock_for_valu Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:00:00 +0300
<![CDATA[Stock Market News For Jan 23, 2018]]> Major benchmarks hit record highs on Monday after the Senate gave its consent to pass a Bill that ends the current government shutdown. Meanwhile, biotech sector rallied following major biotech merger deals. This led the Nasdaq higher which ended at a record. The Dow and the S&P also ended in record territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.6%, to close at 26,214.60. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% to close at 2,832.97. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,408.03, gaining 1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 3.6% to close at 10.87. A total of around 6.56 billion shares were traded on Monday, higher than the last 20-session average of 6.34 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.70-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.38-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

Biotech ETF Surges, Pushes Nasdaq Higher

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) surged 3.1% on Monday following a couple of merger deals in the biotech sector worth billions of dollars. Touted to be the largest biotech ETF, iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology is trading at its highest levels since October 2017.

Shares of Juno Therapeutics, Inc. JUNO skyrocketed 26.8% on Monday after it entered into an agreement with Celgene Corp. CELG to be purchased for a whopping $9 billion. In other deal news, Bioverativ Inc. BIVV agreed to purchase Sanofi SNY for $12 billion. Following such news, shares of Bioverativ rallied 63%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

These developments led to broad based gains for the biotech sector and also pushed the Nasdaq higher. The tech-laden index surged 71.7 points to end the session at an all-time high. Gains for Nasdaq were further supported by a surge of 3.2% in the shares of Netflix NFLX.

Dow and S&P 500 Post Record Closes

The S&P 500 gained 22.7 points to hit a record high. Of the 11 major segments of the S&P 500, 10 ended in the green, with consumer discretionary shares leading the advancers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and Consumer Discret Sel Sect SPDR ETF (XLY) gained 2.2% and 1.1%, respectively.

The Dow amassed 142.9 points to finish at a record close. Such gains were rather broad based and followed the Senate’s decision to approve a bill that would end the government shutdown.

Senate Approves a Bill to Prevent Shutdown

On Monday, the Senate approved a Bill which paved way for the ongoing government shutdown to end. The House had already passed a one-month spending Bill on Jan 18 to keep the government funded up until Feb 16, 2018. However, the Bill did not find much favor in the Senate and therefore could not reach the 60-vote mark to clear the Senate. The Senate adjourned without further voting for a final outcome on Thursday.

The funding to keep the government funded ended on Saturday, leading to a shutdown. This shutdown stretched through Monday after lawmakers in the United States failed to reach a resolution on the issue. This was due to negotiations related to immigrations, discussions over which bothered the Republican-led Congress for most of Sunday.

Stocks That Made Headlines

AIG to Buy Validus, Expand Reach in Reinsurance Business

American International Group Inc. AIG has agreed to buy Bermuda based reinsurer, Validus Holdings Ltd. (Validus). The deal should see light by mid-2018. (Read More)

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


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Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sanofi (SNY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
American International Group, Inc. (AIG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Celgene Corporation (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (JUNO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BIOVERATIV INC (BIVV): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research]]>
http://so-l.ru/news/y/2018_01_23_stock_market_news_for_jan_23_2018 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 17:54:00 +0300