"Half of 2012 pricing is a rollover from 2011," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a Feb. 24 report. "Management maintains a strong focus on cost control through its Funding the Growth ROI-focused program. Investors should see sequential gross margin improvement through the year. This should collectively drive currency-neutral double-digit EPS growth."Shares of Colgate-Palmolive hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $96.40. The stock's 52-week low of $77.28 was set on March 21. Colgate-Palmolive's forward P/E is 16.34; the average for personal products companies is 15.48. For comparison, Kimberly-Clark (KMB) has a lower forward P/E of 13.34. Fifteen of the 23 analysts who cover Colgate-Palmolive rated it hold. Six analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Colgate-Palmolive an A grade with a buy rating and a $113.25 price target. The stock has risen 3.84% year to date.
Advance Auto Parts "AAP experienced a solid turnaround in 4Q results with its strongest comp performance of the year and the pace of gross margin pressure halving sequentially," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a Feb. 17 report. "Looking to 2012, the first half of the year promises the most potential EPS upside with an expected acceleration in comps against easier sales comparisons and runway on cost reductions." Shares of Advance Auto Parts hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $89.65. The stock's 52-week low of $49.50 was set on Aug. 10. Advance Auto Parts' forward P/E of 13.3; the average for specialty retailers is 16.92. Fourteen of the 23 analysts who cover Advance Auto Parts rated it hold; nine analysts gave the stock a buy rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Advance Auto Parts an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $103.08 price target. The stock has risen 28.39% year to date.