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3 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: ABT, JBHT, GKSR

Stocks in this article: ABT JBHT GKSR

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J.B. Hunt Transportation

"We are raising our 12-month price target to $60 from $56 on JBHT and bumping our 1Q12 EPS estimate from an in-line $0.51 to $0.53, given our belief that intermodal volumes, pricing, and margins have improved steadily throughout the first quarter and should continue to build momentum as the year unfolds," FBR analysts wrote in a March 27 report.

Shares of J.B. Hunt Transportation hit a 52-week high of $55.82 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $34.42 was set on Sept. 22.

J.B. Hunt's forward P/E is 18.96 times; the average for trucking companies is 15.42. For comparison, Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) has a lower forward P/E of 14.7; C.H. Robinson's (CHRW) forward P/E is 19.5.

Sixteen of the 28 analysts who cover J.B. Hunt rated it buy; 12 analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives J.B. Hunt an A+ grade with a buy rating and $64 price target. The stock has risen 23.63% year to date.

G&K Services

The uniform services company increased its quarterly dividend by 50% to 20 cents a share, and on Wednesday announced a special dividend of $6 a share.

"In a broadly positive move, G&K Services (GKSR-NASDAQ) announced this morning that it would pay a one-time special dividend of $6 per share, payable on April 27," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. "On a cash basis, this equates to approximately $113 million, which GKSR will fund using its recently refinanced revolving credit facility. The Company maintains roughly $100 million of available debt capacity and $58 million of share repurchase authorization, retaining some flexibility with regard to future deals and share buybacks. Additionally, GKSR announced a 50% increase to its quarterly dividend, raising it to $0.195 (from $0.13) and effectively boosting the yield to approximately 2.2% (from 1.5%)."

Shares of G&K hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $38.65. The stock's 52-week low of $24.24 was set on Oct. 4.

G&K's forward P/E is 16.06 times; the average for business support services companies is 19.73. For comparison, UniFirst (UNF) and Geo Group (GEO) both have lower forward P/Es of 13.69 and 11.5, respectively.

Four of the eight analysts who cover G&K rated it hold. Three analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives G&K a B grade with a buy rating and a $39.29 price target. The stock has risen 27.1% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian

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