5 Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: MON, JBHT, ANSS, AME, O

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These stocks hit 52-week highs Thursday: Monsanto ( MON), J.B. Hunt Transport Services ( JBHT), Ansys ( ANSS), Ametek ( AME) and Realty Income ( O).

Each of these five stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

Monsanto

The agricultural products company reported first-quarter earnings on Jan. 5 of 23 cents a share that beat analysts' profit estimates of 16 cents. The company also estimated that it would reach the higher end of its previous 2012 guidance; its range was from $3.39 to $3.44 a share.

"Monsanto has moved through the transitional year of F2011 in good order, having healed damage to grower relationships caused by prior missteps on pricing and new product launches," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 9. "While growth rates of yore are unlikely to recur (MON grew EPS at a CAGR of ~35% from F2002 through F2009), we do expect US mix upgrades, further penetration of stacked-traits in Latin America, and new biotech traits to drive ongoing mid-teens EPS growth."

The stock hit a 52-week high of $81.80 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $58.89 was set on Oct. 3.

Monsanto receives a B grade from TheStreet Ratings and a $105.46 price target. The stock has risen 16.7% year to date.

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services

The transportation company was downgraded by Jefferies analysts on Jan. 17 to a hold from a buy.

"JBHT shares are up 33% from the market's October 3 lows, and offer less than 15% to our downwardly-revised price target," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report. "We believe that our October 11 call -- that U.S. freight flows had started to strengthen and that investors should increase risk exposure to our stocks -- has now become the consensus view."

Shares of J.B. Hunt hit a 52-week high on Thursday of $49.99. The stock's 52-week low of $34.42 was set on Sept. 22.

TheStreet Ratings gives J.B. Hunt an A+ grade with a $58.43 price target. The stock has risen 10.27% year to date.


Ansys

Ansys creates engineering simulation software.

Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of Ansys on Nov. 16 with a neutral rating.

"While the ANSYS business model offers attractive defensive characteristics in the current environment, we initiate with a Neutral rating given our view of limited top-line catalysts combined with a status quo operating margin outlook," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report.

The company reports fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 23.

Shares of Ansys hit a 52-week high of $62.45 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low was set on Aug. 9.

Ansys gets a A grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $70.52 price target. The stock has risen 7.25% year to date.

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Ametek

The electronics company reported fourth-quarter earnings Thursday of $101.9 million, or 63 cents a share, an increase from $81.2 million, or 50 cents, a year ago.

"4Q results were strong, of high quality and better than expected," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "2012 guidance is higher than we expected."

Shares of Ametek hit a 52-week high on Thursday of $47.75. The stock's 52-week low was set on Oct. 4.

TheStreet Ratings gives Amtek an A+ grade with a $54.95 price target. The stock has increased 11.33% year to date.


Realty Income

This company acquires commercial real estate; Realty Income invested $1 billion in 164 properties in 2011.

"O continues to execute on its acquisition plans providing long-term FFO accretion, however, continued portfolio concerns and tenant bankruptcies negatively impact near-term expectations/," Morgan Keegan analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 18.

Shares of Realty Income hit a 52-week high of $36.60 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $27.93 was set on Aug. 8.

Realty Income gets an A grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $41.34 price target. The stock has risen 4.38% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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