Walt Disney, Walgreen: Stocks to Watch
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- These stocks were in the headlines ahead of Thursday's trading session:
Walgreen named Jim Skinner to serve as non-executive chairman of its board early Thursday, succeeding Al McNally, who will remain on the drug store operator's board.
Skinner is the former chief executive officer of McDonald's(MCD) and has served on Walgreen's board since 2005.
Shares of Walgreen closed Wednesday at $29.94, down nearly 10% so far in 2012.
Walt Disney(DIS) :
The Dow component received an upgrade from Wells Fargo early Thursday. The firm went to outperform from market perform on the stock, saying concerns -- such as the potential for margin contractions at ESPN -- that previously kept its optimism in check seem to have dissipated.
"Fast forward to today, and the truth is our fears appear unwarranted," Wells Fargo said. "We understand that DIS is a consensus long but we think estimates are too low and that the stock may actually break out of its current mid to high $40-range on this coming earnings call. If we are wrong and DIS misses expectations, then we would view a pull back as a great entry point given our increased confidence in the long-term story."
The firm also lifted its earnings expectations for Disney for the third quarter, fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 and lifted its valuation range to $56-58 from $44-46.
"What's different?,"Wells Fargo said. "1) Parks are improving more rapidly than even the most bullish analysts have anticipated. 2) The Avengers! 3) Our view that ESPN margins actually can expand. 4) Significant LT growth in FCF, which could lead to incremental shareholder returns. And 5) what is not necessarily different but is a current significant advantage is DIS's LOW ad exposure (at about 20%)."
Disney's stock closed Wednesday at $47.27, up more than 25% year-to-date.
Fastenal reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $112.3 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $804.9 million. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 37 cents a share in the June-ended period on revenue of $807.7 million.
Shares of the Winona, Minn.-based maker of industrial and construction supply products closed Wednesday's session at $39.81, down nearly 9% so far in 2012.