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Top Analyst Reports for Apple, Linde & Marsh & McLennan

Monday, February 27, 2023

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 Inc. (AAPL), Linde plc (LIN) and Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC). 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 >>>

Shares of Apple have roughly matched the broader market over the past year (-10.4% for Apple vs. -10.9% for the S&P 500 index), but handily outperformed the Zacks Tech sector (down - 19.8%).

The Zacks analyst covering Apple expects year-over-year revenue growth to decelerate in the fiscal first quarter compared with the fiscal fourth quarter due to unfavorable forex. Mac revenues are expected to be negatively impacted by forex. Apple expects Mac revenues to decline substantially year over year during the December quarter.

Services revenue growth is expected to be negatively impacted by challenging macroeconomic conditions, unfavorable forex, as well as weakness in digital advertising and gaming. Nevertheless, a growing subscriber base in the Services business and a strong liquidity position are key catalysts.

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

Linde shares have outperformed the Zacks Chemical - Diversified industry over the past year (+18.6% vs. +10.3%). The company’s wide range of applications for its industrial gases, Linde is making the world more productive by the day. The company’s primary products in industrial gases include oxygen, which is used as life support in hospitals.

Its process gas, like hydrogen, is being utilized for clean fuels, while its high-purity and specialty gases are employed to manufacture electronics. Linde has long-term contracts with on-site customers backed by minimum purchase requirements, thereby securing stable cashflows. In the profitable industrial gas market, the merger of Praxair and Linde has created an efficient player with considerable size advantages.

However, the cost of sales continues to increase, hurting the firm’s bottom line. The firm has mostly been paying a lower dividend yield than the industry’s composite stocks over the past two years.

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

Marsh & McLennan shares have outperformed the Zacks Insurance - Brokerage industry over the past year (+4.3% vs. +3.6%). The company is well-poised to grow on the back of significant investments and acquisitions made within its operating units, the launch of new products and branching out into new businesses.

Its increased stake in Marsh India will further buoy growth. Revenues have been increasing thanks to a wide geographic presence and strong client retention. The Risk and Insurance Services unit has been contributing to revenue growth for a while. MMC had around $4.3 billion left under authorization as of Dec 31, 2022.

However, high operating costs might weigh on the margins. A debt-laden balance sheet is a concern. Its valuation remains stretched at the current level. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.

(You can read the full research report on Marsh & McLennan here >>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include GSK plc (GSK), Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) and Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE).

Director of Research

Sheraz Mian

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>>>

Today's Must Read

Apple (AAPL) Banks on Services to Counter Weak iPhone Demand

Linde's (LIN) Contracts With Minimum Volume Requirements Aid

Rising Revenues Aid Marsh & McLennan (MMC) Amid High Expenses

Featured Reports

Glaxo's (GSK) Specialty Drugs To Drive Sales in 2023
Glaxo's specialty products like Dovato, Nucala, Trelegy Ellipta, Shingrix are driving sales, making up for a lower sales of established drugs due to generic erosion, per the Zacks analyst.

Cenovus (CVE) Gains From Retail Fuel Division Divestment
Per the Zacks analyst, Cenovus has optimized its portfolio by divesting its retail fuel business, which will help reduce the debt burden. Yet, its rising costs for purchased products are concerning.

E-Commerce Business Aid Watsco (WSO), Increased Costs Ail
Per the Zacks analyst, Watsco has been benefitting from e-commerce business and strategic acquisitions. However inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions hurt.

Kinsale Capital (KNSL) to Grow on Solid Excess and Surplus Market
Per the Zacks analyst, Kinsale Capital is set to grow on the strength of its Excess and Surplus Market on the back of improved margins and lower loss ratios, which drives strong underwriting results.

Backlog Aids Huntington Ingalls (HII) Amid Labor Shortages
Per the Zacks analyst, solid backlog count for Huntington Ingalls boosts its revenue growth prospects. Yet, the shipbuilding industry is facing labor shortages that might hurt the stock's performance

Pure Storage (PSTG) Benefits from Robust Product Portfolio
Per the Zacks analyst, Pure Storage's strong portfolio of solutions like Pure as-a-Service and Evergreen Storage is driving the performance. Supply chain woes and stiff competition remain concerns.

High in-school originations Aid Navient (NAVI) Amid Low Liquidity
Per the Zacks Analyst, Navient's focus on growing its in-school originations amid loan forgiveness proposals will support operations. However, high debt levels and low cash balance are concerning.

New Upgrades

Expedia (EXPE) Benefits From Strengthening Gross Bookings
Per the Zacks analyst, increasing gross bookings owing to improving domestic as well as international travel demand, is aiding the performance of Expedia Group.

Lamb Weston (LW) Benefits From Strategic Pricing Actions
Per the Zacks analyst, Lamb Weston is gaining on robust pricing actions. In the fiscal second quarter, price/mix increased 30%, reflecting gains from pricing actions in its core business units.

Catalyst's (CPRX) Firdapse A Strong Driver of Growth
Strong uptake of Firdapse since its launch has driven growth for the company. The sales potential of Fidapse, along with the acquisition of U.S. rights of Fycompa is expected to drive revenue growth.

New Downgrades

Southwest Airlines (LUV) Weighed Down By Flight Cancelations
The Zacks Analyst is worried about the fact that operational disruptions in late December resulting in massive flight cancelations have unfavorably impacted LUV's earnings and revenues.

Cost Inflation Hurts Kimberly-Clark's (KMB) Operating Profit
Per the Zacks analyst, Kimberly-Clark is battling higher input costs for a while. In fourth-quarter, the company's operating profit was affected by a rise in input costs to the tune of $245 million.

3M (MMM) Hurt by Safety and Industrial Unit Weakness
The Zacks analyst is concerned about persistent weakness in the Safety and Industrial unit due to lower disposable respirator demand. Inflationary pressure is also hurting the company's operations.

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GSK PLC Sponsored ADR (GSK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Linde plc (LIN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research