The technology company reported Thursday first-quarter earnings of $29 million, or 23 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $13 million, or 12 cents."Although we retain our Neutral rating we are constructive on the shares and believe that the path for sustained multiple expansion has been laid out," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report Friday. "Specifically, we believe it will hinge on the sustained momentum of its core Financial Services segment, and final pension related capital structure efforts (i.e., prefunding the liability), which the company indicated it would discuss further at its upcoming May analyst meeting. In addition, we believe that it will be critical for NCR to get its lagging Retail segment back on track and overcome headwinds in both the US and Europe. That said, NCR suggested that US order growth picked up at the end of the quarter. Last, sustaining the early traction from the recent Radiant acquisition will be key for its revenue growth profile and margin expansion potential." Shares of NCR hit a 52-week high Friday of $23.46. The stock's 52-week low of $15.28 was set on Aug. 22. NCR's forward P/E is 9.03; the average for computer hardware companies is 17.19. For comparison, VeriFone Systems (PAY) has a higher forward P/E of 16.46. Seven of the 12 analysts who cover NCR rated it buy. Four analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives NCR a C+ grade and hold rating. The stock has risen 42.77% year to date. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian
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