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Friday, February 15, 2019

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 Alphabet ( GOOGL ), Facebook ( FB ) and Cisco Systems ( CSCO ). 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 >>>

Buy-ranked  Alphabet 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Internet Services industry in the last six months (-7.7% vs. -11.2%). Alphabet's fourth-quarter earnings were driven by robust mobile search and YouTube.

However, higher expenses impacted operating margins. The company's strengthening cloud unit and expanding data centers will continue to bolster the company's presence in the cloud space. Also, major updates in its search segment are enhancing the search results which is a tailwind.

Additionally, Google's strong focus on the innovation of its AI techniques and Android OS along with growing presence in the home automation space are driving its top-line growth. Notably, the stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past one year. However, the company's growing litigation issues might hurt its profitability.

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

Shares ofbuy-ranked Facebook  have lost -7.5% over the past year, outperforming the Zacks Internet Services industry's loss of -18.2% during the same period. Facebook is benefiting from solid mobile ad revenues driven by robust performance from both Instagram Stories and Feed. However, only Instagram Stories is expected to be the key catalyst for impression growth in 2019.

Moreover, Facebook needs to improve ad pricing to drive top-line growth. Further, the company's plan to introduce commerce in Instagram is expected to be a major growth driver. Additionally, the company's plan to integrate messaging apps - WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger - will boost user experience by making the services more secure through end-to-end encryption.

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

Cisco 's shares have gained 4.4% in the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Computer Networking industry's increase of 4%. Cisco reported stellar second-quarter results. Moreover, both top and bottom-line increased year over year. Strength witnessed in the company's Security and Applications segments drove year-over-year growth. Order strength and improving traction of the subscription-based model were other tailwinds.

Strong contribution from security, Infrastructure Platforms and applications is a positive. Order strength and improving traction of the subscription-based model are other tailwinds. Strengthening collaboration portfolio which now includes Webex Teams and Accompany bodes well. Further, buyout of Duo Security and Luxtera should help the company expand its IT and data center clientele. However, weakness in switching and routing is a headwind.  

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Home Depot ( HD ), Costco Wholesale ( COST ) and S&P Global ( SPGI ).

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019

In addition to the stocks discussed above, wouldn't you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year?

From more than 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank, these 10 were picked by a process that consistently beats the market. Even during 2018 while the market dropped -5.2%, our Top 10s were up well into double-digits. And during bullish 2012 - 2017, they soared far above the market's +126.3%, reaching +181.9%.

This year, the portfolio features a player that thrives on volatility, an AI comer, and a dynamic tech company that helps doctors deliver better patient outcomes at lower costs.

See Stocks Today >>

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly  Earnings Trends and  Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please  click here>>>

Today's Must Read

Alphabet (GOOGL) Rides on Mobile, Cloud and Diversification

Mobile Ad Growth, Instagram Strength Benefits Facebook (FB)

Cisco (CSCO) Rides on Security Products & Strategic Deals

Featured Reports

Permian Operations Aid Pioneer (PXD), Exploration Costs Hurt

Although ramped up activities in the prolific Permian Basin support Pioneer Natural's oil production, rising exploration expenses are a concern, per the Zacks analyst.

Passenger Revenues Aid American Airlines (AAL), Costs Ail

The Zacks analyst is optimistic about the company's strong passenger revenues, which are driving its top line. However, high unit costs are a drag on its growth.

Enhanced Delivery Options to Boost Home Depot's (HD) Sales

Per the Zacks analyst, Home Depot's five-year plan to expand delivery options for its customers, should aid top lines.

Decent Comparable Sales Run to Fuel Costco's (COST) Top Line

Per the Zacks analyst, Costco's growth strategies, sturdy comparable sales performance and strong membership trends reinforce its position.

Expansion Strategy Boosts Equinix (EQIX) Amid Stiff Competition

Per the Zacks Analyst, the IBX expansion strategy will fortify Equinix's global footprint in the data-center space.

Adhesive Dispensing Systems Drives Nordson's (NDSN) Revenues

Per the Zacks analyst, solid traction of Nordson's Adhesive Dispensing Systems business, fueled by organic growth and acquisition like Clada Medical Devices, should continue to drive its revenues.

Hilton (HLT) Rides on Unit Expansion Amid Stiff Competition

Per the Zacks analyst, Hilton's relentless expansion strategy by year-over-year net unit growth is the major topline driver. However, a competitive industry remains a potential headwind.

New Upgrades

High Investment Income, Liquidity Aid Ares Capital (ARCC)

Per the Zacks analyst, high demand for customized financing and improving economy will lead to rise in Ares Capital's investment income. Its enhanced capital deployment plans indicate solid liquidity.

Organic growth, Technology Investments Aid Jones Lang (JLL)

Per the Zacks Analyst, solid performance in Real Estate Services and LaSalle segment contribute to Jones Lang's growth. Also, technology investments will provide a competitive edge to the company.

Label Expansion of Rubraca to Boost Clovis' (CLVS) Prospects

Per the Zacks analyst, successful completion of label expansion studies and potential approval will boost Rubraca sales which is struggling as competition intensifies in the ovarian cancer market.

New Downgrades

Inclement Weather Conditions Hurt Martin Marietta (MLM)

The Zacks analyst stresses that abnormally wet weather conditions in many markets are jeopardizing Martin Marietta's (MLM) shipments, production and profitability.

Unfavorable Enterprise Valuation Hurts Leidos Holdings (LDOS)

Per the Zacks Analyst, a comparative analysis of Leidos Holdings' historical Enterprise Value/Free Cash Flow (EV/FCF) ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture that might be a cause of concern.

S&P Global (SPGI) Hurt by Decline in Global Debt Issuance

Per the Zacks analyst, weak decline in global debt issuance is weighing on S&P Global's top line. Initial issuance was so strong that it crowded out issuers' capacity to tap re-pricing.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

S&P Global Inc. (SPGI): Free Stock Analysis Report

The Home Depot, Inc. (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.

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