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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Merck, ServiceNow, Blackstone, Gilead Sciences and Diageo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 21, 2024 – 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: Merck & Co., Inc. MRK, ServiceNow, Inc. NOW, Blackstone Inc. BX, Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD and Diageo plc DEO.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Merck, ServiceNow and Blackstone

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 Merck & Co., Inc., ServiceNow, Inc. and Blackstone Inc. 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 >>>

Merck shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past six months (+18.2% vs. +13.7%) reflecting favorable demand momentum for products like Keytruda and Gardasil. With continued label expansion into new indications, particularly earlier-stage launches, Keytruda is expected to see continued growth.

Animal health and vaccine products are core growth drivers. Merck boasts a strong cancer pipeline, including Keytruda, which should drive long-term growth. Merck is investing in M&A activity to strengthen its pipeline.

However, generic competition for several drugs and rising competitive pressure, mainly on the diabetes franchise, will continue to be overhangs on the top line. There are concerns about Merck’s ability to grow its non-oncology business ahead of Keytruda’s loss of exclusivity later in the decade.

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

Shares of ServiceNow have outperformed the Zacks Computers - IT Services industry over the past six months (+37.9% vs. +30.9%). The company has been benefiting from the rising adoption of its workflows by enterprises undergoing digital transformation. It had 1897 total customers with more than $1 million in annual contract value at the end of the fourth quarter.

ServiceNow has been benefiting from the rising adoption of its workflows by enterprises undergoing digital transformation. Security and risk had a terrific quarter with 12 of the top 20 deals, out of which nine deals were more than $1 million. Customer, Employee and Creator workflows each had double-digit deals over $1 million.

It is benefiting from strong demand for its generative AI-powered solutions with the launch of Vancouver. Nevertheless, ServiceNow is suffering from high inflation, stiff competition, and challenging macro-economic environment.

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

Blackstone shares have outperformed the Zacks Financial - Miscellaneous Services industry over the past six months (+31.6% vs. +17.7%). The company’s strong revenue mix, global footprint and solid assets under management (AUM) balance are expected to keep aiding its financials. Its robust fund-raising ability will support top-line growth.

Yet, elevated consolidated expenses are likely to hamper Blackstone’s bottom-line growth in the near term. Also, lower chances of sustainability of the company's capital distribution activities are worrisome. The company has been facing substantial outflows in some of its funds of late, which are likely to hurt its financials.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Diageo plc.

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Zacks Investment Research

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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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Blackstone Inc. (BX) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Diageo plc (DEO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research