The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, UnitedHealth, HSBC, PetroChina and Netflix

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –October 21, 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: Facebook FB, UnitedHealth UNH, HSBC Holdings HSBC, PetroChina PTR and Netflix NFLX.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Facebook, UnitedHealth and HSBC

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 Facebook, UnitedHealth and HSBC Holdings. 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 >>>

Facebook’s shares have outperformed the S&P 500 year to date (45.2% vs. 19.6%). The Zacks analyst thinks that solid mobile ad revenues, driven by impressive growth in Instagram Stories and Feed, and Facebook News Feed, are expected to boost the top line.

Facebook’s initiatives to improve privacy, transparency and authenticity of ads, and remove fake accounts are likely to boost user trust and engagement. Further, partnerships with ESPN and Fox for sports related streaming on Facebook Watch are a positive. The acquisition of CTRL-Lab will drive growth in the long haul.

However, the company’s rising regulatory headwinds, including the antitrust investigation and the EU’s investigation of Libra, are a concern. The unfriendly regulatory environment is expected to delay Libra’s launch, which Facebook has targeted for the first half of 2020.

Shares of UnitedHealth have gained 9.9% in the past six months against the Zacks Medical Insurance industry’s rise of 8.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that higher revenues, strength in both segments — UnitedHealthcare and Optum — plus membership growth led to this outperformance.

UnitedHealth Group stands apart in the industry by virtue of healthcare services, technology and innovations offered by its unit, Optum. Numerous acquisitions made by the company have led to inorganic growth. Its solid balance sheet and consistent cash flow generation enables investment in business.

Also, capital management by dividend payout and share buyback is another positive. However, slowdown of growth in international operations and underperformance in Medicaid business are some concerns. 

HSBC’s shares have lost 6% over the past three months against the Zacks Foreign Banks industry’s decline of 3.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that while the company’s initiatives to improve market share in the U.K. and China are likely to lead to an increase in expenses and hurt bottom-line growth, these efforts will support financials over the long term.

Also, initiatives to strengthen digital capabilities globally, improve operating efficiency and open 50 new retail banking branches in the United States will go a long way in supporting profits. Its steady capital deployments are impressive, reflecting strong balance sheet position and will enhance shareholder value.

Nevertheless, disappointing economic growth in Europe and weak loan demand are likely to hurt revenue growth to some extent. Additionally, uncertainty related to the implication of Brexit on its financials remains a major near-term concern.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include PetroChina and Netflix.

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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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Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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