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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Intel, 3M and UPS

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 02, 2017 – 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 (NASDAQ: MSFT Free Report ), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC Free Report ), 3M (NYSE: MMM Free Report) and UPS (NYSE: UPS Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Tuesday: MSFT, INTC, MMM and UPS

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 17 major stocks, including Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT Free Report ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC Free Report ), 3M (NYSE:MMM Free Report ) and UPS (NYSE:UPS Free Report ).

Microsoft shares lagged the Zacks Tech sector through the fall, but have led the way over the last six months (up +15.2% versus +14.6%) on greater appreciation for the company's reorganization and repositioning. Microsoft reported impressive third-quarter fiscal 2017 results beating expectations on both lines.

The Zacks analyst stress that results demonstrated continuing enterprise strength, strong Office 365 adoption and robust penetration of Azure. Further, the addition of LinkedIn has improved the company's presence in the social media market. The recently announced Dies acquisition and investment in Flipkart are other positives.

All in all, the company has emerged as a leader in the cloud space that promises momentum on a number of fronts. However, a strong U.S. dollar and stiff competition remain major concerns. (You can read the full research report on Microsoft here. )

Shares of Intel have gained only +4.1% since election results were announced on Nov 8, lagging the broader Tech sector (up +12.8%) as well as the red-hot semiconductors space (up +21.9%). Intel’s first-quarter 2017 results demonstrated a turnaround in the company’s businesses after a long time.

The improving PC shipment data – as per Gartner and IDC – is positive for the company. The upcoming launch of Skylake is anticipated to benefit data center results in the second half. Moreover, the company revised up its 2017 revenue and EPS outlook based on improving average selling price (ASP).

The Zacks analyst sees the Data center business as promising. Further, growing clout in the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous driving market are key catalysts. (You can read the full research report on Intel here. )

Buy rated 3M shares have gained +18.2% over the last six months, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has gained +11.3% over the same period. 3M started 2017 on a positive note with strong first-quarter results. The Zacks analyst likes 3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and ability to penetrate different markets.

During 2016–2020, 3M expects 8–11% growth in earnings per share driven by an organic sales growth of 2–5%. 3M is standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system and expects $500 to $700 million in annual operational savings by 2020.

The company has raised its earlier guidance for 2017 on strong quarterly results and improved business outlook. However, the company is facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. In addition, the company is susceptible to high commodity price risks. (You can read the full research report on 3M here. )

Shares of United Parcel Service shares rallied 2.6% in the last one year, underperforming the Zacks Transportation-Air Freight industry’s gain of 3.7% in the period. Shares of UPS have also lagged those of rival FedEx, which have gained 13.2% in the same time span. However, United Parcel reported better-than-expected earnings and revenues in the first quarter of 2017.

The outperformance came despite headwinds like higher fuel costs and foreign exchange-related issues. Results were aided by the substantial increase in operating profit of the Supply Chain and Freight unit. Additionally, the Zacks analyst likes the company's efforts to reward shareholders. Moreover, United Parcel Service's expansion-related efforts raise optimism in the stock. (You can read the full research report on United Parcel here. )

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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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
 
Intel Corporation (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
3M Company (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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