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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Microsoft, BP, Zoetis, Lululemon Athletica and Weyerhaeuser

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 15, 2023 – 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: Microsoft Corp. MSFT, BP p.l.c. BP, Zoetis Inc. ZTS, Lululemon Athletica Inc. LULU and Weyerhaeuser Co. WY.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Microsoft, BP and Zoetis

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 Microsoft Corp., BP p.l.c and Zoetis Inc. 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 >>>

Microsoft shares largely tracked the Zacks Tech sector this year, but the stock hasn't looked back since the very strong Q1 earnings release on April 25th. As a result, Microsoft shares are now up +28.4% this year vs. +22% for the Zacks Tech sector and the +8.6% gain for the S&P 500 index.

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The company is benefiting from strong Intelligent Cloud and Productivity and Business Processes revenues. Intelligent Cloud revenues were driven by growth in Azure and other cloud services. Productivity and Business Processes revenues increased due to strong adoption of Office 365 Commercial solutions. Microsoft is also seen as having a better offering on the artificial intelligence (AI) front than rival Alphabet. 

Continued momentum in the small and medium businesses and frontline worker offerings, as well as gain in revenue per user drove top-line growth. However, More Personal Computing revenues decreased due to weak Windows and Devices businesses.

Steady performance in Talent Solutions aided LinkedIn revenues. However, declining gaming revenues has been a headwind. Increasing spend on Azure enhancements amid stiff competition in the cloud space remains a concern.

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

Shares of BP have outperformed the Zacks Oil and Gas - Integrated - International industry over the past year (+24.4% vs. +10.2%). The company has a strong portfolio of upstream projects, backing impressive production growth. The company boasted that the target of adding a net production of 900 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2021 from key projects was met successfully.

BP expects $2-$3 billion of divestment and other proceeds in 2023. Before reporting its June-quarter results, the integrated energy major is willing to complete an additional $1.75 billion in share buy-backs. Also, BP reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings resulting from an increase in oil-equivalent production volumes.

However, the energy giant's balance sheet is considerably more levered than most peers, limiting its financial flexibility. Also, increasing exploration expenses have been affecting the company's income. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.

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

Zoetis shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical - Drugs industry over the past year (+12.9% vs. -1.8%). The company's innovative portfolio of pet care parasiticides, including Simparica Trio and key dermatology products maintain momentum for the company.

The strong uptake of Librela and Solensia in Europe, its new monoclonal antibody therapies for osteoarthritis pain in dogs and cats, is encouraging. The launch of innovative products bolstered the portfolio and should fuel growth.

However, Zoetis had earlier faced supply challenges which impacted demand. Although the constraints have eased out, a similar situation will impact growth. Stiff competition from animal health business wings of Merck and Bayer remains a woe.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Co..

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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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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

BP p.l.c. (BP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Weyerhaeuser Company (WY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

lululemon athletica inc. (LULU) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research