The branded distilled spirits company last week reported fourth-quarter earnings of $94.1 million, or 69 cents a share. Net income a year earlier was $85.4 million."Beam has good growth momentum but we think it is priced in," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report on Monday. "We think valuation reflects it as a potential acquisition candidate (cited in many press articles, including Bloomberg and Reuters). It is one of the few nonfamily influenced spirits pure-plays and has a solid presence in bourbon." Beam was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings. Of the 13 analysts who cover the company, five rated it a hold. An equal number (4) categorized Beam as a buy and a hold. Beam has a forward P/E of 20.9. The average among distillers and vintners is 17.21. Constellation Brands (STZ) has a lower forward P/E of 9.84. TheStreet Ratings gives Beam a B- grade with a $62.74 price target. The stock closed Monday at $54 and has increased 5.41% year to date.
Diebold "Following strong 4Q results and 2012 guidance from NCR, we believe we have underestimated demand in the Financial Services vertical, and we are reintroducing growth into segment revenue in mid 2012," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "We still prefer NCR to DBD, but we believe DBD is positioned to perform in line with the mean of our coverage universe." The security and self-service delivery company was upgraded to neutral from underweight by JPMorgan on Tuesday. Diebold was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings. Of the 10 analysts who cover the company, seven rated it a hold. Two analysts considered it a buy and one gave Diebold a sell rating. Diebold has a forward P/E of 14.41. The average among computer hardware companies is 21.81. Lexmark (LXK) and Ingram Micro (IM) have lower forward P/Es of 8.17 and 9.9, respectively. TheStreet Ratings gives Diebold a B grade and $38.37 price target. The stock closed Monday at $33.24 and has increased 10.54% year to date.