Company profile: The Tiffany brand goes on fine jewelry it designs and makes as well as china, fashion accessories, timepieces, fragrances and gift items sold at its retail stores. Expect to pay $9,000 for a pair of "Tiffany Legacy" diamond chandelier earrings.Share performance: up 7% over the past three months; up 8.2% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 39%. Investor takeaway: S&P rates Tiffany "strong buy" with five stars, its highest rating with a $90 price target, a 36% premium. S&P says it has tremendous worldwide growth opportunities, especially in emerging market countries such as China. "Assuming share buybacks under the company's $400 million repurchase authorization, we see earnings per share of $3.80 in fiscal 2012 and $4.20 per share in fiscal 2013," S&P said. Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand writes that "exposure to the steady (wedding) engagement market makes Tiffany a stock to buy on short-term dips, such as the Japan crisis or a Europe blowup, and its long-term brand and strong balance sheet make it attractive when the market mood is dark."
Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH) Company profile: Ruth's Hospitality Group is the owner, operator and franchiser of upscale steakhouses, primarily under the Ruth's Chris name. It has about 130 restaurants worldwide, about half of which are company-owned. Morningstar says the average check is $75. It's definitely a small-cap stock at a $190 million market value. Share performance: up 28% in the past three months; up 8% in 2011; three-year average annual return of 46%. Investor takeaway: Fidelity owns 14% of its shares, double that of the next highest investor. S&P, which doesn't rate it, said Wall Street analysts give it three "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold" and three "holds."
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