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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: General Electric, Anthem, Northrop Grumman, Walgreens and Honda

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 6, 2019 – 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: General Electric GE, Anthem ANTM, Northrop Grumman NOC, Walgreens WBA and Honda HMC.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for GE, Anthem and Northrop Grumman

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 General Electric, Anthem and Northrop Grumman. 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 >>>

Outperform-rated General Electric’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Diversified Operations industry in the past six months (+29.8% vs. +8.5%). The Zacks analyst thinks company is poised to improve its competence on the back of its portfolio restructuring program. In sync with this, it intends to focus on three core businesses — Aviation, Power and Renewable Energy — and gradually exit all others.

General Electric believes that its solid Aviation segment, driven by strengthening services and military businesses, will boost revenues in the quarters ahead. Also, reduced quarterly dividend rate and reorganization in the Power business are likely to benefit results going forward.

Moreover, growing commercial presence in emerging markets will likely improve near-term profitability. In the past 60 days, the company's Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share has been increased by 5.2% for 2019.

Shares of Anthem have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry in the past year (up +21.6% vs. -1.9%). The Zacks analyst thinks the company's prudent acquisitions and collaborations complement its organic growth. Its consistently growing top line paves the way for long-term growth.

A diverse product portfolio also helped it enhance its underwriting results. Its strong capital position backs effective capital deployment via share buybacks and regular dividends. A strong outlook for 2019 and growing membership instills investor's confidence in the company. Its first-quarter 2019 earnings of $6.03 per share, surpassed expectations by 2.9% and improved 11.5% year over year on the back of higher membership and expansion of its clinical and specialty services.

However, it has been suffering from high benefit costs and selling, general and administrative expenses. Rising levels of debt is another concern.

Northrop Grumman’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Aerospace Defense industry over the past six months, gaining +24.9% over the period versus the industry’s +5.6% increase. The Zacks analyst thinks that as a major U.S. defense contractor, Northrop Grumman continues to enjoy a strong position in the Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs.

In a bid to boost its growth trajectory, Northrop Grumman completed the acquisition of rocket-maker Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion last year. Increasing international opportunities are expected to boost the company’s margin growth. Currently, the company is getting ready to move into full-rate production for Triton.

However, it continues to incur high operating expenses on account of increasing product costs. Such higher operating expenses tend to put downward pressure on its profit margins. Also, Northrop's EV/EBITDA ratio has remained above the broader sector’s EV/EBITDA ratio of 10.45.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Walgreens and Honda.

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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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Electric Company (GE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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