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Q2 Earnings Season Preview and Featured Analyst Reports for J&J, AMD & Union Pacific

Monday, June 27, 2022
 

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features current 2022 Q2 consensus expectations for the S&P 500 index and new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), and Union Pacific Corporation (UNP). 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 >>>

 

Q2 Earnings Season Preview

Total Q2 earnings for the S&P 500 index are expected to be up +2.3% from the year-earlier period on +9.8% higher revenues, with strong growth in the Energy sector offsetting declines in the Finance and Tech sectors.

Excluding the strong contribution from the Energy sector whose Q2 earnings are expected to be up +187.5%, total earnings for the rest of the S&P 500 index would be down -5% from the same period last year.

The Energy sector strength has also been factor in the aggregate revisions trend, with positive Energy sector revisions helping offset estimate cuts elsewhere.

In other words, the Energy sector strength is helping mask weakness in most of other sectors, resulting in a seemingly stable aggregate revisions picture. This trend has been in play for 2022 Q2 as well as full-year 2022.

For full-year 2022, the current expectations is for S&P 500 earnings to be up +9.1% on +9.4% higher revenues. Excluding the Energy sector, 2022 earnings for the remainder of the index would be up only +3.7%.

With respect to the revisions trend, aggregate 2022 earnings estimates are actually +3.4% since the start of the year. But it is the record upward revisions to the Energy sector that is keeping the aggregate revisions trend in positive territory. Excluding the positive revisions to the Energy, which are up +72.7% since the start of the year, aggregate 2022 earnings for the rest of the rest of the index are down -9.8% since the start of the year.

As such, it is misleading for market participants to claim that earnings estimates have yet to come down. There will most likely be more downward adjustments to estimates if the bearish macroeconomic projections come to fruition. But in a base-case outlook, earnings estimates have already adjusted lower.

For more details about Q2 estimates and evolving expectations for the coming periods, please check out our weekly Earnings Trend report here >>> Will Earnings Estimates Finally Come Down? 

Featured Analyst Reports

Johnson & Johnson shares have modestly outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the year-to-date basis (+7.9% vs. +7.5%), with the company’s diversification makes it relatively resilient amid macroeconomic turmoil. Its Pharma unit is performing at above-market levels, supported by its blockbuster drugs, Darzalex and Stelara, and contribution from newer drugs, Erleada and Tremfya. Sales in the MedTech unit recovered in Q1 and the company is focusing on growing this business through new products.
 

However, sales in Consumer unit are being hurt by external supply constraints. J&J is making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions. Several pivotal data readouts are expected in 2022. Headwinds like generic competition and pricing pressure continue. Though J&J has taken meaningful steps to resolve its talc and opioid litigation, they continue to remain an overhang on the stock.
 

(You can read the full research report on Johnson & Johnson here >>>)
 

AMD shares have declined -1.7% over the past year against Zacks Electronics - Semiconductors industry’s decline of -3.5%, with the company benefiting from strong demand of its Ryzen and EPYC server processors, owing to the increasing proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in industries like cloud, gaming and data center. The growing clout of 7 nanometer (nm) products in the data center vertical, driven by work-from-home and online learning trends, is a key catalyst.
 

AMD provided strong 2022 guidance for revenues backed by robust growth across all businesses. Higher server and client processor revenues are likely to lead to a sequential increase. The Xilinx and Pensando acquisition will boost AMD's data center business. Alliances with Amazon, Microsoft, Baidu and JD.com augment business prospects.
 

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

Union Pacific shares have declined -0.5% over the past year against Zacks Transportation - Rail industry’s decline of -3.4%. Escalation in fuel costs as oil prices move north induced a 16% rise in the operating expenses in the March quarter. Costs are likely to be high in the June quarter as well. Detailed results will be out on Jul 21. High debt/EBITDA ratio is another worry. Increased capex may also be bothersome.
 

However, the company’s efforts to reward its shareholders even in the current uncertain scenario please us. The company hiked dividend twice in 2021. In May 2022, UNP upped its quarterly dividend by a further 10%. The railroad operator is also active on the buyback front. Management expects share repurchases in 2022 to be in line with the 2021 levels of $7.3 billion. UNP's strong free cash flow generating ability supports its shareholder-friendly activities. An uptick in freight revenues as economic activities pick up the pace is an added positive.
 

(You can read the full research report on Union Pacific here >>>)
 

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Novartis AG (NVS), Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD), and ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW).
 

Sheraz Mian
 
Director of Research

 

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

J&J (JNJ) Boasts a Solid Pipeline

AMD Banks on Strength in Product Portfolio & Partnerships

Union Pacific's (UNP) Dividends Support, Cost Woes Sting

Featured Reports

Cosentyx, Entresto Fuel Novartis (NVS) Amid Competition
Per the Zacks analyst, drugs like Cosentyx, Entresto, fuel Novartis' performance amid generic completion for older drugs and pipeline setbacks. Its generic arm Sandoz, returned to growth as well.

Digital Investments Brighten AB InBev's (BUD) Growth Prospects
Per the Zacks analyst, AB InBev's investments in B2B platforms, e-commerce and digital marketing have been aiding growth. It is likely to rapidly grow its digital platform, like BEES and Ze Delivery.

Growing Customer Base & Partnerships Aid ServiceNow (NOW)
Per the Zacks analyst, ServiceNow benefits from rising adoption of its workflows from companies undergoing digital transformation. Also, strategic alliances with the likes of Microsoft are a tailwind.

CME Group (CME) Futures Expansion Aids, Expenses Hurt
Per the Zacks analyst, the company is well poised for growth with the expansion of futures products in emerging markets and OTC offerings. However, rising costs hurt its margins.

International Growth Aids Illumina (ILMN), Rising Costs Ail
The Zacks analyst is upbeat about Illumina's robust performance across the EMEA, the Asia Pacific and Japan regions. Yet, escalating operating expenses place significant pressure on its bottom line.

Cheniere Partners (CQP) to Benefit From Growing LNG Demand
Per the Zacks analyst, Cheniere Partners (CQP) is poised to capitalize on the rising LNG demand, which is expected to significantly increase over the next decade. Yet, higher debt exposure is concern.

Pinterest (PINS) Rides on Holistic Growth to Expand User Base
Per the Zacks analyst, Pinterest is likely to expand its user base with engaging content, simplified ad systems and the strategic buyout of AI-powered, high-tech fashion-shopping platform The Yes.

New Upgrades

Strong Storage, Data Center Demand Aids Iron Mountain (IRM)
Per the Zacks analyst, Iron Mountain is poised to benefit from strong cash flows in the storage and records management business, its focus on data center business and a robust balance-sheet position.

Cost Cuts, Defense Business Benefit Allegheny (ATI)
Per the Zacks analyst, Allegheny will gain from strength in its defense business and its efforts to improve cost structure through cost-reduction initiatives.

Kronos Worldwide (KRO) Gains on Higher TiO2 Demand, Prices
Per the Zacks analyst, higher titanium dioxide (TiO2) demand will drive the company's sales volumes. Higher average TiO2 selling prices will also support its margins.

New Downgrades

Reliance on Subsidiaries, Rivalry Ail National Fuel Gas (NFG)
Per the Zacks analyst, National Fuel Gas will fail to meet obligations if its units contribute lower than expected, competition from peers and other clean energy providers can impact operation.

Supply-Chain Woes Play Spoilsport for Acuity Brands (AYI)
Per the Zacks analyst, rising costs from raw materials, electrical component supply chain interruptions and a significant escalation in freight costs are Acuity Brands' pressing margins.

High Costs Likely to Hurt Darden's (DRI) Performance
Per the Zacks analyst, high costs and dismal traffic are likely to hurt the company's performance. For fiscal 2023, the company expects total inflation of 6% and commodities inflation of 7%.


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Novartis AG (NVS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Union Pacific Corporation (UNP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AnheuserBusch InBev SANV (BUD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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