American Express, GE, Home Depot Hit Highs

Dow stocks American Express, Home Depot and General Electric hit 52-week highs Tuesday, despite a weak quarter at Alcoa.
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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks fell Tuesday as investors digested a weaker-than-expected report from Dow component Alcoa (AA) - Get Report. Still, these blue chips hit 52-week highs.

3. American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

rose 1% to $44.99, hitting a high of $45.06. It has gained 10% during the past month. The credit-card company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on April 22.

Quarter

: Fourth-quarter net income tripled to $716 million and earnings per share doubled to 59 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue declined 3.5%. The operating margin extended to 15%. A debt-to-equity ratio of 3.8 indicates excessive leverage.

Stock

: American Express has more than doubled during the past year, beating U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 14, 27% less than the industry average. It's expensive based on book value, sales and cash flow.

Consensus

: Of analysts covering American Express, 14, or 50%, advise purchasing its shares, 11 recommend holding and three suggest selling them.

Piper Jaffray

(PJC) - Get Report

expects the stock to advance 25% to $56.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

predicts it will hit $51.

2. Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

climbed 2.6% to $34.35, hitting $34.62. It has risen 5.9% during the past month. The home-improvement retailer will release quarterly numbers on May 17.

Quarter

: Home Depot swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $342 million, or 18 cents, from a loss of $54 million a year earlier. Revenue declined marginally. The operating margin inched up to 4.9%. A quick ratio of 0.2 indicates weak liquidity.

Stock

: Home Depot has increased 32% during the past year, trailing major benchmarks. It sells for a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 15 and a price-to-book ratio of 2.9, 11% and 9% discounts to industry averages. It's also cheap based on sales.

Consensus

: Among researchers following Home Depot, 19, or 63%, rate its stock "buy," nine rate it "hold" and two rate it "sell."

UBS

(UBS) - Get Report

projects a price of $36.50, a potential 7% gain.

Credit Suisse

(CS) - Get Report

expects the shares to hit $36.

1. General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

gained 1.3% to $18.95, hitting a high of $19.13. The stock has risen 11% during the past month. GE is scheduled to report first-quarter results on Friday.

Quarter

: Fourth-quarter profit decreased 19% to $3 billion, or 28 cents, as revenue dropped 11% to $41 billion. The operating margin narrowed from 23% to 17%. GE has $78 billion of cash and $510 billion of debt, amounting to a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.3.

Stock

: GE has advanced 56% during the past year, more than U.S. indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 15 and a price-to-book ratio of 1.7, 17% and 23% discounts to peer-group averages. It's also cheap based on cash flow.

Consensus

: Of firms rating GE, eight advocate purchasing its shares and nine counsel holding them.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

predict the stock will touch $22, leaving a potential 16% gain.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

says it could rise to $21.

View Stockpickr's Daily 52-Week Highs Portfolio

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.