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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights UnitedHealth Group, The Coca-Cola, Roche Holding, Lam Research and Valero Energy

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 17, 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: UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, The Coca-Cola Co. KO, Roche Holding AG RHHBY, Lam Research Corp. LRCX and Valero Energy Corp. VLO.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for UnitedHealth, Coca-Cola and Roche

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 UnitedHealth Group Inc., The Coca-Cola Co. and Roche Holding AG. 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 >>>

Shares of UnitedHealth Group have gained +4.5% over the past year against the Zacks Medical sector's -12% decline and -15.7% decline for the S&P 500 index. The company's top line has been growing and the momentum should continue in the years ahead on the back of a strong market position, new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings.

The company's solid health services segment provides diversification benefits. UNH's Government business remains well-poised for growth. A sturdy balance sheet enables investments.

However, softness in commercial business due to COVID-induced volatilities persists. Rising operating costs are hurting margins. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.

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

Shares of Coca-Cola held up a lot better than many others in last year's tough market; the stock was effectively flat in 2022, modestly better than rival Pepsi's -0.3% decline, but significantly better than the Zacks Consumer Staple sector's -5.1% decline (the market overall was down -15.7%). The company is scheduled to report 2022 Q4 results on February 14th, but its preceding period results (2022 Q3) benefited from the continued momentum from the first half of 2022. Sales gained from revenue growth across its operating segments, aided by an improved price/mix and an increase in concentrate sales.

Coca-Cola benefited from underlying share gains in both at-home and away-from-home channels. According to the Zacks analyst, estimated organic revenue growth of 14.8% and comparable earnings per share growth of 6.6%, in line with the company's raised view for 2022. Innovations and accelerating digital investments bode well.

However, pressures from higher transportation and input costs remain. Higher marketing spends and currency headwinds are concerning.

(You can read the full research report on Coca-Cola here >>>)

Shares of Roche Holding have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (-21.6% vs. +14.6%). The company's performance has been hit by significantly lower COVID-related sales in both divisions as the pandemic eased out. Sales of Actemra/RoActemra and Ronapreve (COVID-19) are declining with the pandemic weakening in several countries since last year. The competition is stiff for Tecentriq. The decline in sales of drugs like Herceptin, Avastin and MabThera will continue to drag sales down. Pipeline setbacks are a concern.

Nevertheless, strong demand for new drugs, namely Hemlibra (hemophilia), Ocrevus (multiple sclerosis), Evrysdi (spinal muscular atrophy), Phesgo (cancer) and Tecentriq (cancer), maintained momentum. The Diagnostics division also remained stable in terms of the growth of its routine business.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Lam Research Corp. and Valero Energy Corp.

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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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Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) : Free Stock Analysis Report

CocaCola Company The (KO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Lam Research Corporation (LRCX) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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