50 Companies to watch in 2018

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M A N O S T A X X

STOCKS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IN 2018

Bloomberg Intelligence analysts identified 50 publicly traded companies—out of the 6,000 they track—worth special attention because they plan to release significant products and services in the coming year or because they face unusual challenges. To assemble the list, the analysts also considered factors such as revenue growth, profit margin, market share, and debt.

1

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


18.8%
EST. EPS GROWTH


N/M
TOTAL ASSETS


$3.37B
12-MONTH SALES


$4.62B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


108%
After years of disappointing products, AMD’s latest and upcoming chip releases—across desktops, servers, and laptops—will determine the company’s return to relevance. The chips could help AMD regain market share in 2018. Server processors are an important part of the mix and present an opportunity to gain share.
2

Alaska Air Group

EST. SALES GROWTH


22.9%
EST. EPS GROWTH


9.4%
TOTAL ASSETS


$10.72B
12-MONTH SALES


$6.9B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


14.3%
Although Alaska has offered pilots lower pay but more stable employment than rivals, its 2016 merger with Virgin America Inc. led unions to demand wages in line with other full-service carriers—as much as 20 percent above current levels. If Alaska raises prices to compensate, it could lose a prime competitive advantage.
DOMESTIC CAPACITY ADDITIONS: SPIRIT AIRLINES 17.50%, ALASKA 7%, UNITED 5%, JETBLUE 4.5% TO 5.5%, DELTA 2% TO 3% (TOTAL), SOUTHWEST 1% TO 2%, AMERICAN 0.50%
3

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


26.70%
EST. EPS GROWTH


-44.0%
TOTAL ASSETS


$9.81B
12-MONTH SALES


$4.19B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


-44.4%
The world’s largest movie theater operator is facing the double threats of declining audience and the Chinese crackdown on Dalian Wanda Group Co., its majority owner. AMC is betting on cost cuts to make up for lost revenue and theater renovations to attract audiences, but it remains heavily indebted after a spree of acquisitions.
4

AT&T Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


-0.3%
EST. EPS GROWTH


2.0%
TOTAL ASSETS


$420.8B
12-MONTH SALES


$161.93B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


-3.7%
With growth in the wireless market slowing, AT&T will seek to use content as an edge against rival Verizon Communications Inc. The company is on track to close its acquisition of Time Warner by the end of this year, giving it a library that includes HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.
5

BASF SE

EST. SALES GROWTH


13.5%
EST. EPS GROWTH


14.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$86.34B
12-MONTH SALES


$67.51B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


32.3%
While the rest of the chemicals industry pursued transformational mergers, BASF has concentrated on smaller strategic acquisitions to help it offer higher-complexity, higher-cost products, increasing both its capacity and operating margins—a win-win.
6

Boohoo.com Plc

EST. SALES GROWTH


36.6%
EST. EPS GROWTH


48.8%
TOTAL ASSETS


$235M
12-MONTH SALES


$545M
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


182.9%
The apparel industry’s fastest-growing e-tailer is on track to see sales jump at least 80 percent this year, with new brands like PrettyLittleThing gaining traction in the company’s home U.K. market and the U.S. Local sourcing gives it wider margins than those of its competitors, but logistics could become a challenge.
7

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

EST. SALES GROWTH


34.6%
EST. EPS GROWTH


151.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$5.22B
12-MONTH SALES


$1.58B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


7.7%
Despite productivity improvements, delays in the construction of pipelines have left Cabot unable to transport some gas for sale. Northeast infrastructure expansion should allow the company to ship natural gas from the Marcellus Shale beginning in mid-2018.
8

China Merchants Bank

EST. SALES GROWTH


N/M
EST. EPS GROWTH


17.7%
TOTAL ASSETS


$916.42B
12-MONTH SALES


$43.91B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


56.2%
After slow earnings growth in 2015 and 2016, China’s leading retail and private bank is turning around its business thanks in part to better-quality loans and higher credit card fees. It’s also enhancing its financial technology capabilities through new mobile, cloud, and blockchain apps.
9

Cosco Shipping Holdings Co.

EST. SALES GROWTH


N/M
EST. EPS GROWTH


83.2%
TOTAL ASSETS


$18.37B
12-MONTH SALES


$12.26B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


72.7%
With its acquisition of Orient Overseas International Ltd., the Chinese shipping company is making a play to disrupt Europe’s dominance of global shipping. The $6.3 billion deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, will make Cosco the world’s third-biggest carrier.
10

CSX Corp.

EST. SALES GROWTH


2.1%
EST. EPS GROWTH


21.7%
TOTAL ASSETS


$35.86B
12-MONTH SALES


$11.55B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


82.5%
Investors are betting that legendary railroad CEO E. Hunter Harrison will be able to execute yet another turnaround. Service issues, customer complaints, and regulatory scrutiny have made the transition bumpy, but the faithful are optimistic about Harrison’s precision scheduling strategy.
11

Cypress Semiconductor Corp.

EST. SALES GROWTH


10.6%
EST. EPS GROWTH


65.0%
TOTAL ASSETS


$3.74B
12-MONTH SALES


$2.19B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


25.7%
The chipmaker is in the early stages of turning away from the declining memory-based business to become a major player in the internet of things. Sales in that space are expected to increase 20 percent this year, with even greater potential for growth next year as the smart-home market continues to expand.
12

Dangote Cement Plc

EST. SALES GROWTH


4.6%
EST. EPS GROWTH


5.0%
TOTAL ASSETS


$5.2B
12-MONTH SALES


$2.35B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


7.9%
Dangote is poised to make the most out of double-digit housing and infrastructure growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Already Nigeria’s largest cement maker, it’s aiming to extend its business into Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Congo.
13

Danone SA

EST. SALES GROWTH


23.3%
EST. EPS GROWTH


22.6%
TOTAL ASSETS


$52.12B
12-MONTH SALES


$25.11B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


13.3%
Danone’s acquisition of WhiteWave Foods Co., parent company of Silk nondairy and Horizon Organic milks, should help bolster the French company’s core dairy business. With the retirement of Chairman Franck Riboud, CEO and now-Chairman Emmanual Faber faces increased pressure to deliver.
14

Discovery Communications Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


7.9%
EST. EPS GROWTH


18.5%
TOTAL ASSETS


$16.15B
12-MONTH SALES


$6.59B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


-10.1%
In a bid to stanch subscriber losses, the edutainment company reached an agreement to acquire lifestyle-focused Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. earlier this year. When that deal closes in early 2018, Discovery will become a powerhouse in unscripted programming.
15

Dong Energy A/S

EST. SALES GROWTH


14.1%
EST. EPS GROWTH


-2.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$20.5B
12-MONTH SALES


$9.16B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


34.6%
After selling its exploration and production assets and shifting from fossil fuels to renewables, Danish Oil & Natural Gas is changing its name to Ørsted, after the physicist who discovered electromagnetism. It’s counting on the offshore wind market, where it’s already a leader.
16

DowDuPont Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


N/M
EST. EPS GROWTH


N/M
TOTAL ASSETS


$163.46B
12-MONTH SALES


N/M
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


37.3%
Two years after it was announced, the Dow-DuPont merger is finally complete, and the chemicals behemoth can start breaking itself up. In a nod to investors’ concern over inefficiencies, one unit will focus on materials science, another on agriculture, and a third on specialty products.
17

DSV A/S

EST. SALES GROWTH


16.7%
EST. EPS GROWTH


35.1%
TOTAL ASSETS


$6.14B
12-MONTH SALES


$10.54B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


49.1%
A year and a half after absorbing the large but inefficient UTi Worldwide Inc., transport company DSV has managed to restore and even surpass its previous operating margins. Its share price and earnings are soaring, and DSV is on the hunt for another $1 billion-plus acquisition.
18

Engie SA

EST. SALES GROWTH


6.9%
EST. EPS GROWTH


5.0%
TOTAL ASSETS


$166.84B
12-MONTH SALES


$72.0B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


19.9%
The French energy giant has been shifting away from fossil fuel assets and toward renewables, investing in wind and solar. So far the market has responded favorably, especially as new French President Emmanuel Macron affirms his commitment to green-energy development.
19

Eni SpA

EST. SALES GROWTH


16.3%
EST. EPS GROWTH


124.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$134.47B
12-MONTH SALES


$68.13B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


17.7%
The Italian oil company’s “dual exploration” strategy—solo discovery followed by shared development—has made it one of the few majors to both save cash and raise output. Its latest offshore site, the Zohr field off Egypt’s coast, will start producing at the end of this year, a record-fast 22 months after discovery.
BIG NUMBER: $25B
INVESTMENT BY ENI IN ITALY OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS ON GREEN TRANSFORMATION PROJECTS, INCLUDING INCREASED PRODUCTION OF GREEN DIESEL
20

Experian Plc

EST. SALES GROWTH


9.5%
EST. EPS GROWTH


13.1%
TOTAL ASSETS


$7.69B
12-MONTH SALES


$4.34B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


-1.9%
With greater attention on credit reporting after the massive Equifax hack, Experian and its peer, TransUnion, are facing the potential for increased regulation. Calls for free security freezes and more access to credit reports could limit their ability to sell credit-­monitoring services.
21

Fannie Mae | Freddie Mac

EST. SALES GROWTH


N/M
EST. EPS GROWTH


N/M
TOTAL ASSETS


$3.31T, $2.02T
12-MONTH SALES


$111.89B, $71.76B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


60.6%, 58.8%
After years of funneling profits to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the two government-sponsored mortgage backers will be forced to operate with a net worth of zero beginning in 2018. Even a small loss would require them to go back to Treasury and again borrow from taxpayers—a political disaster.
22

Ford Motor Co.

EST. SALES GROWTH


-0.1%
EST. EPS GROWTH


5.9%
TOTAL ASSETS


$247.47B
12-MONTH SALES


$142.94B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


1.3%
New CEO Jim Hackett will have to bring the venerable automaker up to speed on electric and autonomous vehicle development or face an investor revolt. Third-quarter earnings benefited from a boost in sales after recent hurricanes damaged vehicles, yet full-year profit is expected to decline.
“[TECH] COMPANIES ARE FLUSH WITH CASH, FLUSH WITH TALENT, AND FLUSH WITH COMPUTER SCIENCE. BUT WE UNDERSTAND THE WAY PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE AND BREATHE VEHICLES, AND THAT’S THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO OWN HERE.” —FORD CEO JIM HACKETT
23

Gap Inc.

EST. SALES GROWTH


0.9%
EST. EPS GROWTH


2.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$7.62B
12-MONTH SALES


$15.47B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


23.7%
The company’s namesake brand has struggled to return to its 1990s peak, but a faster, more responsive product pipeline and fewer discounts have helped Gap rebound. With Old Navy flourishing and Athleta activewear selling briskly, a turnaround may finally be under way.
24

Great Wall Motor Co.

EST. SALES GROWTH


18.1%
EST. EPS GROWTH


11.1%
TOTAL ASSETS


$12.28B
12-MONTH SALES


$14.41B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


31.2%
The Chinese automaker’s potential tie-up with BMW AG may be too little, too late. An earlier strategy of refusing to team up with foreign brands may have reached its limit. Although it still dominates the country’s SUV market, Great Wall faces decreased market share as competitors are creeping in.
25

Hertz Corp.

EST. SALES GROWTH


2.5%
EST. EPS GROWTH


72.3%
TOTAL ASSETS


$22.43B
12-MONTH SALES


$8.69B
1-YEAR TOTAL RETURN


-57.2%
With the brand’s 2014 accounting scandal still casting a shadow over its finances, Hertz is struggling against competition from Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., as well as automakers. The company shrank its rental car fleet this year, which helped shore up profitability even as domestic sales volume continued to fall.

 
 
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