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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Caterpillar, Alibaba and Aflac

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 19, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Caterpillar CAT, Alibaba BABA and Aflac AFL.

3 Large Caps to Buy for a Steady Approach

Large-cap stocks are present in almost every portfolio. They carry a well-established nature, have greater analyst coverage, and commonly pay dividends, all of which make them so popular.

Of course, their steady nature may not appeal to all. Still, the decreased volatility large-caps possess is well worth it in the eyes of more conservative investors.

For those seeking large-cap exposure, three stocks –Caterpillar, Alibaba and Aflac – have all seen their near-term outlooks shift positively. Let's take a closer look at each.



Alibaba, a current Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is one of the leading e-commerce giants in China. The company has enjoyed positive earnings estimate revisions across the board, with the revisions trend particularly bullish for its current year.

The company has a history of exceeding bottom line expectations, surpassing the Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate by an average of 18% across its last four releases. Just in its latest print, BABA posted a 22% EPS beat and reported revenue 5% ahead of the consensus.

And the company is forecasted to post solid growth in its current year (FY24), with Zacks Consensus Estimates suggesting 15% earnings growth on 5% higher revenues. Peeking ahead to FY25, estimates allude to a further 7% bump in earnings paired with a 9% sales boost.


Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The stock is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with earnings expectations shifting positively over the last several months.

CAT shares aren't valuation stretched given its growth trajectory, with earnings forecasted to climb 40% in its current year on 12% higher revenues. Shares presently trade at a 14.1X forward earnings multiple, beneath the 15.8X five-year median and high of 21.4X in 2022.

Caterpillar shareholders also get to enjoy steady and consistent dividend payouts, as the company belongs to the elite Dividend Aristocrats club. Shares currently yield 1.9% annually, with the payout growing by 7% annually over the last five years.


Aflac, a current Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is an American insurance company and a massive supplier of supplemental insurance within the U.S. The company has seen modest positive earnings estimate revisions among all timeframes.

Like CAT, Aflac is a member of the Dividend Aristocrats club, showing a notable commitment to shareholders through 25+ years of increased payouts. AFL shares currently yield 2.2%, with the company sporting a 12% five-year annualized dividend growth rate.

Bottom Line

Large caps are found in nearly every portfolio, as their stable nature and successful track records are impossible to ignore.

And for those seeking large-cap exposure, all three stocks above could be great considerations, all boasting improved earnings outlooks.

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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 information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Aflac Incorporated (AFL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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