Top Stock Reports for Apple, Mastercard & Sanofi

Friday, January 15, 2021

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 Apple (AAPL), Mastercard (MA) and Sanofi (SNY). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>

Apple shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year (+63.5% vs. +16.2%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company is benefiting from continued momentum in the Services segment, driven by a robust performance of App Store, Apple Music, video and cloud services.

Moreover, demand remains healthy for other Apple devices including iPad, Mac and Wearables. Although Apple didn’t provide any guidance due to uncertainties triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, it expects iPhone sales to grow in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Apple’s near-term prospects are bright, driven by new iPhones that support 5G, revamped iPad and Mac line-up of devices, health-focused Apple Watch 6 and robust growth in the Services business. Moreover, a solid balance sheet and strong cash flow generating ability are key catalysts. However, increasing scrutiny and legal woes over App Store are headwinds. 

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

Shares of Mastercard have gained +9.2% in the last six months against the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry’s gain of +5.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is gaining from solid demand for digital and contactless solutions amid the COVID crisis.

Investment in technology keeps it at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving payments industry. It is well poised to gain from consistent cash generating abilities from operations backed by its growing business volumes. The company’s strong capital position drives investment in business and shareholder value addition.

However, steep costs might stress margins. Its cross-border volumes will remain suppressed due to COVID-19 restriction on travel and entertainment. Its third-quarter earnings missed estimates.

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

Sanofi shares have lost -2.5% over the past three months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +7.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that Sanofi’s Specialty Care unit is on a strong footing, particularly with regular label expansion of Dupixent.

The drug has, in a very short time, become the key top-line driver for Sanofi. Sanofi possesses a leading vaccine operation. Its R&D pipeline is strong and several data read-outs are expected in 2021. However, headwinds include weak performance of the Diabetes unit, generic competition for many drugs and slower-than-expected uptake of core products like Praluent.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 has resulted in slowdown of new patient starts, deferral of some vaccinations, and lower in-pharmacy traffic. Shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Estimate movement has been mixed ahead of Q4 earnings. Sanofi has a mixed record of earnings surprise in the recent quarters.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Comcast (CMCSA), BP p.l.c. (BP) and Altria Group (MO).

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Today’s Must Read

Robust Portfolio, Services Strength to Benefit Apple (AAPL)

Strategic Buyouts Aid, Elevated Expense Hurts Mastercard (MA)

Sanofi (SNY) Specialty Care Unit Helps Sales, Pipeline Solid

Featured Reports

High Speed Internet Subscriber Gain Benefits Comcast (CMCSA)

Per the Zacks analyst, Comcast benefits from an expanding high speed internet subscriber base as well as strong adoption of Xfinity, Flex and Peacock.

Altria (MO) Troubled by Soft Cigarette Volumes, Pricing Aids

Per the Zacks analyst, Altria has been battling soft domestic cigarette shipment volumes. However, solid pricing has been an upside, which aided adjusted operating companies income in third quarter.

Global Healthcare Unit Aids Ecolab (ECL) Amid Competition

The Zacks analyst is concerned about cutthroat competition that Ecolab faces in the Chemical Specialty markets.

ConocoPhillips (COP) Banks on Oil-Rich Eagle Ford Assets

The Zacks analyst expects ConocoPhillips to gain from unconventional oil-resources in the prolific Eagle Ford shale play.

Ericsson (ERIC) Rides on 5G Network Technology Amid Rivalry

Per the Zacks analyst, Ericsson is well positioned to benefit from 5G network deployments with communications service providers, predominantly in Northeast Asia and North America.

Investment on Infrastructure & Renewable Aid Eversource (ES)

Per the Zacks analyst, Eversource’s investment to enhance clean electricity generation and strengthen its infrastructure will boost its profitability.

BP (BP) Banks on Renewable Energy, Refining Business Hurts

The Zacks analyst appreciates BP’s strong focus on renewables since demand for cleaner energy is mounting. However, weak refining business is a cause of concern.

New Upgrades

Sturdy Holiday Sales to Fuel Five Below’s (FIVE) Top Line

Per the Zacks analyst, Five Below’s merchandise assortment, strengthening digital capabilities and better WOW products helped post sturdy holiday sales. Comps grew 10.1% during the holiday season.

Strong Money Transfer Segment Aids Euronet’s (EEFT) Growth

Per the Zacks analyst, the performance of its Money Transfer Segment driven by the Walmart agreement, expansion of Ria Money business line and a series of buyouts fuel its growth.

Built-to-Order Approach Gives KB Home (KBH) Competitive Edge

The Zacks Analyst stresses that, Built-to-Order process enables homebuyers personalize their homes and also ensure low-cost production, thus giving KB Home competitive advantage over its peers.

New Downgrades

Elevated Expenses Likely to Mar Fortinet’s (FTNT) Margins

Per the Zacks analyst, increased investment toward enhancing sales & marketing capabilities and higher sales incentives are likely to dampen Fortinet’s margins.

Major Reliance on California Hurt American States Water (AWR)

Per Zacks analyst, significant dependence on California along with the risk of groundwater contamination is likely to hurt American States Water’s financial performance.

Weakness in Production Enhancement Unit to Hurt Core Labs (CLB)

The Zacks analyst is concerned about weakness in Core Labs’ Production Enhancement unit and a considerable long-term debt load, which are likely to hamper quarterly results.

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
Sanofi (SNY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Altria Group, Inc. (MO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Mastercard Incorporated (MA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
BP p.l.c. (BP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Apple Inc. (AAPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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