Express Scripts, Kellogg, Gen. Mills Hit Highs

Express Scripts, Kellogg and General Mills hit 52-week highs Tuesday.
Author:
Publish date:

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as April housing starts beat expectations. General Mills (GIS) - Get Report, Kellogg (K) - Get Report and Express Scripts (ESRX) hit highs.

Food manufacturer General Mills fell 0.3% to $73.71, achieving an earlier high of $74.45.

Quarter

: Fiscal third-quarter profit increased 15% to $333 million, or 96 cents a share, as revenue inched up 2.6%. The operating margin extended from 16% to 17%. General Mills has $691 million of cash and $6.4 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.

Stock

: General Mills has advanced 40% during the past year, outperforming U.S. indices. It trades at a PEG ratio, a measure of value relative to expected long-term growth, of 0.7, a 30% discount to estimated fair value. It's expensive based on book value.

Consensus

: Of analysts covering General Mills, 17, or 81%, advise purchasing its shares and four recommend holding them.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

expects the stock to rise 16% to $86.

UBS

(UBS) - Get Report

predicts that the shares will climb another 11% to $82.

Cereal and snack seller Kellogg declined 0.2% to $55.46, recording an earlier high of $56.

Quarter

: First-quarter profit expanded 30% to $418 million, or $1.09, as revenue ascended 4.3% to $3.3 billion. The operating margin rose from 18% to 20%. Kellogg holds $387 million of cash and $5 billion of debt, converting to a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.

Stock

: Kellogg has gained 27% during the past 12 months, more than the

S&P 500 Index

. It sells for a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 14, a 7% discount to the industry average. The shares are costly based on book value and sales.

Consensus

: Of researchers following Kellogg, 16, or 70%, rate its stock "buy" and seven rank it "hold."

Deutsche Bank

(DB) - Get Report

offers a price target of $66, leaving a potential 19% return.

Credit Suisse

(CS) - Get Report

forecasts that the shares will climb to $63.

Pharmacy-benefits manager Express Scripts rose 1% to $104.13, hitting a high of $106.30.

Quarter

: First-quarter net income increased 21% to $260 million and earnings per share rose 9.3% to 94 cents, hurt by a higher share count. Revenue more than doubled. The operating margin narrowed from 6.6% to 4.4%. Express Scripts has $3.7 billion of debt.

Stock

: Express Scripts has advanced 73% during the past year, outpacing U.S. indices. It trades at a PEG ratio of 0.5, a 50% discount to estimated fair value. The shares are expensive based on trailing earnings, projected earnings, book value and cash flow.

Consensus

: Of firms rating Express Scripts, 27, or 90%, advocate purchasing its shares and three recommend holding them.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

believes the stock will appreciate 27% to $132.

JMP Group

(JMP) - Get Report

expects the shares to command $127.

View Stockpickr's Daily 52-Week Highs Portfolio

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.