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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Visa, General Dynamics and Abbott

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 10, 2017 – 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 Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ Free Report ), Verizon (NYSE: VZ Free Report ), Visa (NYSE: V Free Report ), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD Free Report ) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT Free Report ).

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

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Monday: JNJ, VZ, V

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ Free Report ), Verizon (NYSE:VZ Free Report ) and Visa (NYSE:V Free Report ).

Johnson & Johnson shares have gained +14.6% over the last year, widely outperforming the large-cap pharma space (up +2.1%). While the company is faced with a number of headwinds like unfavorable currency movements, increased competition from generics, pricing pressures and an uncertain global macroeconomic backdrop, the Zacks analyst believes that JNJ's diversified business model, deep product pipeline, lack of cyclicality and financial strength position it for continued momentum going forward.

Also, the potential Actelion buyout, though expensive, will bolster J&J’s long-term growth. However, in 2017, growth in J&J’s Pharma segment is expected to suffer as key growth drivers have slowed down due to competition. Estimates have remained mostly stable lately ahead of the Q1 earnings results. (You can read the full research report on Johnson & Johnson here . )

Shares of Verizon have been laggards over the past year- the stock is down -7.2% over the past 12 months vs. AT&T's +5.5% gain and the +14.4% gain for the S&P 500 index. Verizon has started conducting 5G wireless network trials in 11 U.S. cities and plans to deploy its fixed wireless version in 2018. The company’s decision to launch FiOS Prepaid plan, FiOS Internet service and to zero-rate its data on FiOS Mobile App should help it gain subscribers while unlimited data plans have heated up the wireless industry.

The Verizon-Yahoo deal underwent a discount revision of $350 million. But it will likely take a while before these actions bear fruit. In the updated research report issued today, the Zacks analyst discusses the pros & cons of investing in Verizon shares at this stage. (You can read the full research report on Verizon here. )

Buy rated Visa’s shares have marginally underperformed the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry over the past one year, gaining +14.2% vs. +14.8%. The Zacks analyst likes the company’s strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing efforts.

Visa is experiencing growth from acquisition of Visa Europe and solid growth in payments volume as well as processed transactions. In addition, global economic uncertainty and legal headwinds are major concerns. Higher client incentives also pose a risk on profitability. (You can read the full research report on Visa here. )

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include General Dynamics (NYSE:GD Free Report ) and Abbott (NYSE:ABT Free Report ).

The Best & Worst of Zacks

Today you are invited to download the full, up-to-the-minute list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" free of charge. From 1988 through 2015 this list has averaged a stellar gain of +25% per year. Plus, you may download 220 Zacks Rank #5 "Strong Sells." Even though this list holds many stocks that seem to be solid, it has historically performed 11X worse than the market. See these critical buys and sells free >>

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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report
General Dynamics Corporation (GD): Free Stock Analysis Report
Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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