The industrial packaging products company reported first-quarter earnings last month of $23.9 million, or 41 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $41.4 million, or 71 cents."Industrial packaging stocks GEF and SON are among the least liked in paper & packaging by the sell side, with [less than] 50% of analysts at buy (SON 31%, GEF 43%)," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a March 5 report. "This is partially understandable, given that fundamentals have been awful since the summer, largely a function of the double whammy of weak demand and destocking, both of which appear to have bottomed in 1Q. While the magnitude of a recovery is uncertain, macro indicators have improved in recent months; and, we believe that both stocks could benefit from even a modest recovery in fundamentals, as valuations are below normal levels. Further, each company has incremental catalysts where sentiment could improve besides the macro, discussed in this note. We upgrade both stocks to OW from N and see the potential for a sharper snapback at GEF if the macro continues to firm from here." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.3% Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. Greif has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.87, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs. In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 9.7% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $58.35. The stock closed Wednesday at $52.03 and has risen 14.23% year to date.
Hudbay Minerals The copper concentrates company reported on March 7 fourth-quarter earnings of $34.3 million, or 21 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $7.9 million, or 7 cents. "HBM met its 2011 production guidance, and substantially met its 2011 assetby- asset cost guidance," Canaccord analysts wrote in a March 8 report. "A full Constancia project update is expected to be provided by the end of March. HBM once again flagged increased capital costs, due now to significant scope changes, as well as industry inflation." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.7% Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as last year. Hudbay Minerals is extremely liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 4.81, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.24% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $13.35. The stock closed Wednesday at $11.79 and has risen 18.49% year to date.
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