For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – April 19, 2023 – 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: Pfizer Inc. PFE, Accenture plc ACN, Wells Fargo & Company WFC, Starbucks Corp. SBUX and Chubb Ltd. CB.
Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:
Finance Sector Scorecard and Analyst Reports for Pfizer, Accenture and Wells Fargo
The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today’s Research Daily features a real-time update on the ongoing Q1 earnings season, particularly the Finance sector, and new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Pfizer Inc., Accenture plc and Wells Fargo & Company. 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 >>>
Finance Sector Scorecard
Including this morning’s results, we now have Q1 results from 40 S&P 500 members that combined account for 11.4% of the index’s total market capitalization. Total earnings for these 40 companies are up +4.6% from the same period last year on +9.3% higher revenues, with 82.5% beating EPS estimates and 70% beating revenue estimates.
This is notably better performance than we have seen from this group of 40 index members over the preceding four quarters.
The reporting focus has thus far been mostly on the Finance sector, as is always the case at the start of every earnings season.
For the Finance sector, we now have Q1 results from 32.9% of the sector’s market capitalization in the S&P 500 index. Total Q1 earnings for these Finance companies are up +15.3% from the same period last year on +14.5% higher revenues, with 84.6% beating EPS estimates and 76.9% beating revenue estimates.
This is significantly better than what we had seen from this group of Finance sector companies in other recent periods.
Today’s Featured Analyst Reports
Shares of Pfizer have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (-15.1% vs. -11.9%). The company’s top line is expected to decline in 2023 due to potentially steep declines in revenues from its COVID-19 products, Comirnaty vaccine and Paxlovid oral pill, on lower demand.
Concerns remain about its long-term growth drivers beyond its COVID products. Nonetheless, Pfizer boasts a diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines, including Ibrance and Prevnar. Pfizer is witnessing solid pipeline progress and expects to launch some key non-COVID products in 2023, which can drive long-term sales and profit growth.
Pfizer’s cash position is strong, which can be used to make acquisitions, increase dividends, buy back shares and reduce debt. Estimates have gone down slightly ahead of Q1 earnings release. Pfizer has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.
(You can read the full research report on Pfizer here >>>)
Accenture shares have gained +7.2% over the past six months against the Zacks Consulting Services industry’s gain of +8.3%. The company has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing and consulting businesses backed by high demand for services that can improve operating efficiencies and save costs.
Accenture has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through buyouts and partnerships. The company’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividend payments and share repurchases, and pursue opportunities in areas that show true potential.
However. on the flip side, pricing pressure due to significant competition from strong companies like Genpact, Cognizant and Infosys, remains a concern. Global presence exposes it to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Buyout-related integration risks remain a concern.
(You can read the full research report on Accenture here >>>)
Wells Fargo shares have outperformed the Zacks Banks – Major Regional industry over the year-to-date period (+0.7% vs. -3.2%). The company’s first-quarter results benefited from rising rates and solid average loan growth. Progress on efficiency initiatives propelled expense control and savings, which may support its bottom line in the upcoming period.
A strong deposit balance will aid the bank’s liquidity position. The company’s solid liquidity position will help navigate economic uncertainty and support capital deployment moves.
However, due to legal hassles, Wells Fargo has been penalized with business restrictions and a monetary fine. Restrictions on asset growth limit loan expansion ability. A decline in originations might limit mortgage banking income.
(You can read the full research report on Wells Fargo here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Starbucks Corp. and Chubb Ltd..
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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 https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
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