The defense company reported first-quarter earnings Thursday of $448 million, or $1.33 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $384 million, or $1.06.Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.16 a share. "The earnings beat can primarily be attributed to operational performance with operating margins of 11.9%, up 214bps Y/Y (vs. BofAMLe of 11.0%) despite revenues of $5,938mn, down 2% Y/Y (vs. BofAMLe of $5,883mn)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "Management's 2012 EPS guidance from continuing operations increased to $5.00-$5.15, from $4.90-$5.05. Adjusting for FAS/CAS expense, 2012 EPS guidance increased to $5.55-5.70, from $5.45-5.60. Our 2012 estimate of $5.25 is above the Street's estimate of $5.05. We may review our model after this morning's earnings conference call." Shares of Raytheon hit a 52-week high Thursday of $54.62. The stock's 52-week low of $38.35 was set on Sept. 22. Raytheon's forward P/E is 9.66; the average for defense companies is 11.83. For comparison, Lockeed Martin (LMT) has a higher forward P/E of 10.88. Eleven of the 21 analysts who cover Raytheon rated it hold. Nine analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Raytheon an A- grade with a buy rating and $60.67 price target. The stock has risen 11.74% year to date.
American Eagle Outfitters "Given [CEO] Mr. Hanson's laser focus on returns, we think there is potential for real estate paring in the American Eagle chain as well as in the marginally profitable Aerie brand," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report Monday. "We would welcome and encourage any such moves. We look for his imprint on the business from a strategic perspective to begin taking hold in the middle to back half of 2012 and to bear fruit in 2013 and beyond." Shares of American Eagle hit a 52-week high Thursday of $18.29. The stock's 52-week low of $10 was set on Sept. 6. American Eagle's forward P/E is 14.93; the average for apparel retailers is 17.28. For comparison, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) has a lower forward P/E of 11.06. Fourteen of the 27 analysts who cover American Eagle rated it hold. Eleven analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives American Eagle a B grade with a buy rating and $20.21 price target. The stock has risen 18.84% year to date.
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