Friday, October 20, 2017

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including  UnitedHealth (UNH), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS).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 >>>

Buy-rated UnitedHealth’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry in the last six months (up +19.7% vs. +19.2%). UnitedHealth Group’s third-quarter earnings beat expectations and grew year over year.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s robust Government business and continued strong performance at Optum. International business and strong capital position are its other positives. UnitedHealth has been witnessing an increase in membership for the past several years.

On the back of its impressive earnings in the first nine months, the company raised its 2017 guidance. It has reduced exposure to the troubled public exchange business. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, premium revenues are likely to be affected. Charges related to the Penn Treaty are other causes of concern.

AXIR Consulting

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

Shares of Buy-rated Goldman Sachs have gained 39.1% over the last one year, outperforming the +36.1% gain of the Zacks Investment Bank industry. Goldman Sachs has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters.

Goldman’s third-quarter 2017 results surpassed expectations. Results reflected higher revenues on continued momentum in investment banking business, partially offset by lower fixed-income trading activities and elevated expenses.

Though several issues, including sluggish global economic growth and lower client activity levels, remain near-to-medium-term headwinds, the Zacks analyst thinks the company’s well-diversified business and its ability to capitalize on growth opportunities through strategic moves should continue to bolster the overall business.

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

Buy-rated Morgan Stanley’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Investment Bank industry, over the last six months (+20.3% vs. +15.3%). This performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. The company’s third-quarter 2017 results benefited from improvement in investment banking and stable equity trading income while slump in fixed income trading, fall in net interest income and higher in operating expenses were the undermining factors.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations as well as its cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) all of which should further support profitability. However, a continued fall in net interest income and overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s bottom-line growth in the near term.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include U.S. Bancorp (USB), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Discover Financial (DFS).

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Mark Vickery

Senior Editor

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

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Today’s Must Read

Optum’s Strength, Increasing Membership Aids UnitedHealth (UNH)

Prudent Cost Control & Diversification Supports Goldman (GS)

Focus on Wealth Management Aids Morgan Stanley’s (MS) Growth

Featured Reports

Loan Growth Supports U.S. Bancorp (USB), High Costs a Woe

As per the Zacks analyst, organic growth remained a key strength at U.S. Bancorp, as reflected by higher loans and deposits balances.

Pricing Strategy Aids Grainger (GWW), Higher Expenses Hurt

Per the Zacks analyst, Grainger’s strategy to cut down prices and simplify pricing structure will help gain market share.

Growing Product Line, Dealerships Aid Harley-Davidson (HOG)

Per the Zacks Analyst, Harley-Davidson’s continuous effort to expand its product portfolio and strong dealership network will drive ridership growth.

Strong Diagnostics Business, Buyouts to Aid Snap-On (SNA)

The Zacks analyst believes that robust diagnostics and repair information products business, and accretive acquisitions like Norbar Torque & Car-O-Liner will continue to lend momentum to Snap-On.

Discover Financial (DFS) Grows on Card Sales; Expenses Hurt

Per the Zacks analyst, although Discover Financial’s revenue base continues to get strengthened by growing card sales, the top line appreciation is adversely affected by the company’s rising expenses.

Lennar’s (LEN) SG&A Leverage Improves, Gross Margin Soft

Per the Zacks analyst, Lennar remains strong owing to diverse revenue mix and improving SG&A leverage.

Rising Revenues Aid Northern Trust (NTRS), High Costs a Woe

Per the Zacks analyst, increasing revenues on the back of rise in interest rates reflect Northern Trust’s organic growth strength.

New Upgrades

Texas Instruments (TXN) Rides on Dividends and Buyback

The Zacks analyst notes that Texas Instruments returns cash as dividend to attract income seeking investors and repurchases shares that help to boost its EPS.

ADTRAN (ADTN) Buoyed by Network Solutions Growth

The Zacks analyst likes the strong growth displayed by the company’s Network Solutions portfolio. ADTRAN’s efforts to reward shareholders also raise optimism about the stock.

Higher Fees Continue to Aid Brown & Brown’s (BRO) Revenues

Per the Zacks analyst higher commissions and fees will continue to boost revenues for Brown & Brown, thereby accelerating the company’s overall growth.

New Downgrades

Agricultural Services View a Worry for Archer Daniels (ADM)

Per the Zacks analyst, Archer Daniels expects results at the Agricultural Services segment to dip year over year in the third quarter due to pressurized North American exports. This remains a hurdle.

Exposure to Cat Loss Weighs on Markel’s (MKL) Underwriting

Per the Zacks analyst, Increase in expenses and exposure to cat losses increases volatility in Markel’s bottomline. Markel projects $503 million in Q3 cat loss, hampering underwriting profitability.

High SG&A Expenses Weigh on Genuine Parts (GPC)

Per the Zacks analyst, rising cost of labor, delivery and ongoing planned IT spending is adding to Genuine Parts SG&A expenses. This is, in turn, putting pressure on its profit margins.

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 U.S. Bancorp (USB): Free Stock Analysis Report UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report Morgan Stanley (MS): Free Stock Analysis Report Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report Discover Financial Services (DFS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. 

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