The biotechnology company Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $48.2 million, up 82% from a profit of $26.5 million in the same period a year earlier."We believe Alexion is following a similar pattern of providing conservative and beatable guidance," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in a Thursday report. "Thus, we remain comfortable with our 2012 estimates, which assume above guidance revenue of $1.12bn (vs. $1.04- $1.07bn) and an in line earnings estimate of $1.71 (vs. $1.60-$1.70), which suggests that spending will likely decrease." Shares of Alexion hit a 52-week high Thursday of $83.10. The stock's 52-week low of $42.04 was set on Feb. 10, 2011. Alexion has a forward P/E of 36.62X; the average for biotechnology companies is 31.05X. For comparison, Life Technologies (LIFE) and United Therapeutics (UTHR) both have lower forward P/Es of 11.48X and 7.45X respectively. Seventeen of the 23 analysts who cover the company rated it a buy. Six analysts gave the stock a hold rating. Alexion gets a B+ grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $102.09 price target on the shares. The stock has increased 12.45% year to date.
Lululemon Athletica The stock saw a sizable insider exit earlier this week when Dennis Wilson, a director, sold 115,300 shares for $7.5 million. "As we noted in our December 2 upgrade of lululemon athletica (LULU-NASDAQ) from UNDERWEIGHT to BUY, we think the Company has some of the strongest growth prospects in our coverage universe due to its compelling product and unique store environment; the 4Q results reinforce our thesis," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a Jan. 11 report. Shares of Lululemon hit a 52-week high of $65.79 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $36.35 was set on March 2. Lululemon has a forward P/E of 41.09X; the average for clothing and accessories companies is 26.15X. For comparison, Gildan Activewear (GIL) has a lower forward P/E of 11.21X. Of the 23 analysts who cover the company, 13 gave it a buy rating. Nine analysts said the stock is a hold and one rated it a sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Lululemon a B+ grade and has a $83.41 price target on the shares. The stock has risen 40.85% year to date.