May 21, 2022

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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Amgen, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Visa and Merck

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 26, 2022 – 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: Amgen Inc. AMGN, Chevron Corp. CVX, The Coca-Cola Co. KO, Visa Inc. V and Merck & Co. Inc. MRK.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Blue-Chip Stocks Likely to Gain on Earnings Results This Week

The first-quarter 2022 earnings season gathered momentum last week. This week will be a big one with 879 companies slated to release their quarterly numbers. The first quarter was a disappointing one for Wall Street.

Most U.S. corporates expressed their severe concerns regarding the prolonged devastation of the global supply-chain system and as a result, skyrocketing inflation significantly raising the input costs of businesses.

The 30-stock Dow Index – popularly known as the blue-chip index of Wall Street – ended in the negative territory in first-quarter 2022. A handful of blue-chip stocks have already reported their quarterly financial numbers and the results have come in mixed.

This week, five blue-chip stocks are likely to beat earnings estimates. Investment in these stocks should bear fruit in the near term. These are — Amgen Inc., Chevron Corp., The Coca-Cola Co., Visa Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc.

Q1 Earnings Results at Early Stage

As of Apr 22, 100 S&P 500 companies reported earnings results. Year over year, the total earnings of these companies are down 2.1% on 29.1% higher revenues. Moreover, 77% of these companies beat earnings estimates and 72% beat revenue estimates. For the first quarter as a whole, total earnings of the S&P 500 Index are expected to be up 5.9% year over year on 10.6% higher revenues.

Our Choice

Five Dow stocks will report earnings results this week. Each of these stocks carries either a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and has a positive Earnings ESP. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that for stocks with the combination of a Zacks Rank #3 or better and a positive Earnings ESP, the chance of an earnings beat is as high as 70%. These stocks are anticipated to appreciate after their earnings releases. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Chevron is one of the best-placed global integrated oil firms to achieve a sustainable production ramp-up. CVX’s existing project pipeline is one of the best in the industry, thanks to its premier position in the lucrative Permian Basin. The WTI crude oil price is hovering well above $100 per barrel. The price is likely to remain elevated as the Russia-Ukraine conflict is yet to be resolved.

Chevron’s Noble Energy takeover has expanded its footprint in the region and the DJ Basin. CVX now has access to Noble Energy’s low-cost, proven reserves along with cash-generating offshore assets in Israel — particularly the flagship Leviathan natural gas project — thereby boosting its footing in the Mediterranean.

Zacks Rank #2 CVX has an Earnings ESP of +2.88%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 10.3% over the last 7 days.

Chevron recorded earnings surprises in two out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 6.3%. The company is set to release earnings results on Apr 29, before the opening bell.

Coca-Cola has benefited from its strategic transformation and the ongoing recovery around the world. The top line of KO reflected gains from higher price and an increase in concentrate sales. Driven by the momentum in its business, The Coca-Cola lifted its guidance. KO is poised to gain from increasing investments in digital expansion.

Zacks Rank #3 KO has an Earnings ESP of +0.75%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 5.2% for the current year. Coca-Cola recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 13.5%. The company is set to release earnings results on Apr 25, before the opening bell.

Visa has undertaken mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and minority investments to achieve growth. V’s investments in technology are solidifying its position in the payments market. A shift in payments to the digital mode is a boon for Visa.

The coronavirus vaccine rollouts and the gradual revival of consumer confidence should keep driving spending, expanding business volumes in turn. Backed by its strong cash position, Visa remains committed to boosting its shareholder value. V’s balance sheet strength is commendable.

Zacks Rank #3 V has an Earnings ESP of +0.30%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 19.3% for the current year. Visa recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 8.6%. The company is set to release earnings results on Apr 26, after the closing bell.

Merck & Co. boasts a strong cancer pipeline, including Keytruda, which should help drive long-term growth. The separation into two companies should enable Merck to achieve higher profits than the combined company.

MRK’s drugs like Keytruda, Lynparza and Bridion have been driving sales. Animal health and vaccine products remain core growth drivers. Its new oral antiviral pill for COVID-19, molnupiravir, will be a key top-line driver in 2022.

Zacks Rank #3 MRK has an Earnings ESP of +3.36%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 19.4% for the current year. Merck recorded earnings surprises in two out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 5.3%. The company is set to release earnings results on Apr 28, before the opening bell.

Amgen is benefiting from the growing sales of its key drugs like Prolia, Repatha, Xgeva and biosimilars. Amgen is rapidly advancing its robust pipeline of early and late-stage assets. Several phase III readouts are due in 2022. Lumakras, a first-in-class lung cancer treatment, is off to an excellent start while AMGN’s label expansion studies are progressing rapidly.

Zacks Rank #3 Amgen has an Earnings ESP of +2.58%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.1% over the last 7 days.

AMGN recorded earnings surprises in three out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 3.6%. The company is set to release earnings results on Apr 27, after the closing bell.

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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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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Chevron Corporation (CVX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Visa Inc. (V) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CocaCola Company The (KO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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