The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UnitedHealth, CVS, General Electric, ExxonMobil and Stryker
For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL -January 4, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: UnitedHealth UNH , CVS Health CVS , General Electric GE , ExxonMobil XOM and Stryker SYK .
Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Top Analyst Reports for UnitedHealth, CVS and GE
The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today’s Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including UnitedHealth, CVS Health and General Electric. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Buy-ranked UnitedHealth ‘s shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry’s rally in the past year (up +8.5% vs. +7.8%). The Zacks analyst thinks the company’s performance is being backed by higher revenues and strength in both segments – UnitedHealthcare and Optum – plus membership growth.
The company’s robust Government business is also driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position are the other positives. The company’s raised earnings guidance for 2018 and a strong initial 2019 guidance instills optimism among its investors. However, the company is experiencing membership decline in Commercial segment.
Shares of Buy-ranked CVS Health have underperformed the Zacks Retail Pharmacies and Drug Stores industry in the past six months, gaining +1.7% versus +4.5%. On November 29, CVS Health completed the $70-billion consolidation of insurance-giant Aetna. The culmination of this huge deal marks the creation of a new healthcare powerhouse, which combines CVS Health’s broad pharmacy business with Aetna’s giant insurance base.
In this regard, the Zacks analyst thinks that over the past few quarters, the company has consistently demonstrated strong Pharmacy Services performance, benefiting from the upside in specialty services. Also, Retail/LTC comparisons are encouraging of late. Strong 2019 PBM selling season is another upside.
On the flip side, the company apprehends fewer RFP (Requests for Proposals) opportunities in the market than what it has seen over the past few years. Also, according to CVS Health, Omnicare business performance should continue to remain soft through the second-half of 2018.
General Electric ‘s shares have underperformed the S&P 500 index in the past three months (-36.4% vs. -13.3%). The Zacks analyst thinks the company is poised to become more competent on the back of its portfolio-restructuring program. In sync with this, it intends to focus on just three core businesses – Power, Aviation and Renewable Energy – and gradually exit all others.
Moreover, the company has slashed its dividend from 12 cents per share to a penny (for improving its cash position) and plans to reorganize the Power business into two separate units. However, weakening Power business remains a key cause of concern for the company. General Electric expects that internal and external challenges will continue to hurt this business arm.
Also, the company’s margins have been affected due to lower profits secured from its Renewable Energy business. Over the past seven days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings has remained unchanged for both 2018 and 2019.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include ExxonMobil and Stryker.
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.
Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don’t buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss . This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
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