9 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: WMB, AEO, T, CRUS, TSM, AZO, MJN, WPI, RTN
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks hit 52-week highs on Thursday: AT&T(T) , Raytheon(RTN) , American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) , Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) , Williams(WMB) , Cirrus Logic (CRUS) , Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) , AutoZone(AZO) and Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) .
The telecommunications company reported first-quarter earnings on Tuesday of $3.58 billion, or 60 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $3.41 billion, or 57 cents.
"We view handset upgrade discipline as the most important factor for investor sentiment in wireless," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "AT&T's 1Q results were supportive, with handset upgrades at only 7%, and margins exceeded expectations as a result. Handset upgrades historically had a more positive connotation for AT&T, as smartphone penetration was low and upgrades carried a high probability of incremental ARPU. At this point, with smartphone penetration at 60%, we believe the company should be focused on lowering the upgrade rate. We believe 2Q and 3Q are each set for lower than average upgrade rates (7.6%/6.8% versus 8.7% average over the last 3 years), hence creating a more supportive margin backdrop for AT&T and likely the industry over that timeframe, with the iPhone 5 launch in early 4Q likely the next risk factor for sentiment."
Shares of AT&T hit a 52-week high Thursday of $32.39. The stock's 52-week low of $27.29 was set on Sept. 12.
AT&T trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 12.61 times; the average for fixed-line telecommunications companies is 24.35. For comparison, Verizon(VZ) has a higher forward P/E of 14.34.
Twenty-two of the 39 analysts who cover AT&T rated it hold. Fifteen analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell.
TheStreet Ratings gives AT&T a B grade with a buy rating and $35.50 price target. The stock has risen 6.81% year to date.
The defense company reported first-quarter earnings Thursday of $448 million, or $1.33 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $384 million, or $1.06.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.16 a share.
"The earnings beat can primarily be attributed to operational performance with operating margins of 11.9%, up 214bps Y/Y (vs. BofAMLe of 11.0%) despite revenues of $5,938mn, down 2% Y/Y (vs. BofAMLe of $5,883mn)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "Management's 2012 EPS guidance from continuing operations increased to $5.00-$5.15, from $4.90-$5.05. Adjusting for FAS/CAS expense, 2012 EPS guidance increased to $5.55-5.70, from $5.45-5.60. Our 2012 estimate of $5.25 is above the Street's estimate of $5.05. We may review our model after this morning's earnings conference call."