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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, Coca-Cola, VMware, NIKE and AIG

Zacks Equity Research
Coca-Cola's (KO) strategy of introducing new products with focus on expanding successful brands globally is aiding its performance. However, adverse currency may mar second-quarter 2019 results.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 5, 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: Pfizer PFE, Coca-Cola KO, VMware VMW, NIKE NKE and AIG AIG.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Pfizer, Coca-Cola and VMWare

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 Pfizer, Coca-Cola and VMware. 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 >>>

Pfizer’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry year to date (-3.9% vs. -1.2%). Pfizer expects continued strong growth of key product franchises, including Ibrance, Eliquis, and Xeljanz in 2019. The Zacks analyst thinks loss of exclusivity on key drugs in the United States, mainly Lyrica and currency headwinds will significantly hurt sales in 2019.

Other top-line headwinds are weak sales in the sterile injectables portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition. To offset the threat of generic competition, Pfizer is strengthening its pipeline as well as its oncology portfolio.

Pfizer looks well positioned to deliver several potential new breakthrough innovative medicines in the next five years, which can drive long-term growth. Bavencio is being considered as a key long-term growth driver. Biosimilars are also expected to contribute to growth in 2019.

Shares of Coca-Cola have increased +15.1% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Soft Drinks Beverages industry which has gained +6.3% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks this is largely attributable to the effective execution of strategies aimed at evolving into a consumer-centric total beverage company.

This approach has bolstered its quarterly performances as is evident from a robust surprise trend. First-quarter 2019 marked its seventh positive earnings surprise in the last eight quarters and also the seventh straight sales beat. Ongoing productivity efforts and disciplined growth strategies along with robust performance across segments are aiding top and bottom lines.

Innovation and investment in core categories and brands has been the key focus area, which has led to the expansion of retail value share. Moreover, global re-franchising initiatives are expected to boost margins. However, currency rates are likely to significantly mar comparable revenues and operating income in the second quarter and the rest of 2019.

VMware’s shares have gained +44.4% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Software industry which is up +18.9% over the same period. VMware reported impressive first-quarter fiscal 2020 results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis. Strong top-line growth was primarily driven by robust performance from NSX, VeloCloud and vSAN product lines.

The Zacks analyst thinks VMware’s dominance in software-defined data center (SDDC) and its expanding customer base in cloud driven by partnerships with the likes of IBM and AWS are major positives. Nevertheless, growth in license bookings has been muted for the last few quarters, owing to customer delays and macro-economic weakness in some key regions. Moreover, VMware’s margins are expected to remain under pressure due to heavy spending. Intensifying competition is also a concern.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include NIKE and AIG.

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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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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Coca-Cola Company (The) (KO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
VMware, Inc. (VMW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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