BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks rallied yesterday on news that existing home sales rose to the highest level since November 2007. Indices pared gains in the afternoon, but a handful of stocks continued to rise. Here are three that hit 52-week highs.
3. Mettler-Toledo (MTD) rose 2.2% to $106.02. Shares of the medical instrument and lab software company have risen 6.7% during the past month.
The numbers: Third-quarter net income fell 21% to $42 million, or $1.21 a share, as revenue dropped 14% to $436 million. Mettler-Toledo's gross margin widened from 50% to 53%, and its operating margin expanded from 14% to 16%. The company has an adequate liquidity position, evident in its quick ratio of 0.9. Its 0.5 debt-to-equity ratio demonstrates conservative leverage.
The stock: We rate Mettler-Toledo "buy." The stock has returned 57% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The shares are cheap relative to peers, based on earnings, projected earnings, sales and cash flow. However, they're expensive based on book value. Mettler-Toledo's quarterly return on equity was 26%, beating averages for the industry and the S&P 500 Index.
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