8 Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: WMT, UNP, CMCSK, WCG, ALXN, AZO, AJG, IACI

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These eight companies hit 52-week highs on Wednesday: Wal-Mart ( WMT), Union Pacific ( UNP), Comcast ( CMCSK), WellCare Health Plans ( WCG), Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), AutoZone ( AZO), Arthur J Gallagher ( AJG) and IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IACI).

Each of the stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

Wal-Mart

"Despite trading in a range over the last 12 years, we believe 2012 could be abreak-out year for WMT stock," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report on Wednesday.

The analysts noted that Wal-Mart's U.S. same-store sales are slated to continue improving and that "Walmart is positioning for successful e-commerce globally."

Shares of Wal-Mart hit a 52-week high of $62.48 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $48.31 was set on Aug. 10.

TheStreet Ratings gives Wal-Mart an A- grade with a $70.42 price target. The stock has risen 4.32% year to date.

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Union Pacific

Union Pacific on Jan. 19 said fourth-quarter revenue increased 16% to $5.1 billion, operating income rose 23% to $1.6 billion and earnings per share jumped 28% to $1.99.

"We expect UNP to benefit from accelerating core pricing gains in 2012 given thetailwinds from legacy contract repricing, tight transportation capacity, and ongoingabove-rail-inflation pricing," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 20.

Union Pacific has helped the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund rise about 6% in January. Union Pacific is the top holding of the fund.

Shares of Union Pacific hit a 52-week high on Wednesday of $117.40. The stock's 52-week low of $77.73 was set on Oct. 4.

Union Pacific gets an A+ grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $134.71 price target. The stock has risen 10.25% year to date.


Comcast

The cable company is offering a chance to watch the Super Bowl live on phones for the first time in conjunction with the National Football League and Verizon ( VZ), according to The Associated Press.

Collins Stewart analysts raised their price target on Comcast to $36 from $32 on Jan. 25.

"Should benefit from cable results & $3bn+ repurchase increase," Collins Stewart analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 25.

Shares of Comcast hit a 52-week high of $25.98 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $18.74 was set on Aug. 9.

TheStreet Ratings gives Comcast an A+ grade with a $33.21 price target. The stock has increased 8.87% year to date.

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WellCare Health Plans

The managed care services company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 15. Analysts, on average, expect profit of $1.17 a share on revenue of $1.59 billion in revenue.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded the stock on Jan. 20 to a buy from a neutral.

"Our view is that selling Medicaid and Medicare is evolving into adifferentiated capability for WCG now that it covers more duals to cross-sell," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in the report. "The combination of better than expected revenues and strong margins returns yields a favorable risk/reward profile."

Shares of WellCare hit a 52-week high on Wednesday of $62.80. The stock's 52-week low of $30.53 was set on Feb. 3.

WellCare gets a B grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $73.84 price target. The stock has risen 18.11% year to date.


Alexion Pharmaceuticals

The biopharmaceutical company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 9. Analysts, on average, expect profit of 34 cents a share on revenue of $220.8 million.

"We believe ALXN can achieve strong top-line growth relative to biotech peers, based on Soliris' market potential in PNH and other indications," Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a Jan. 23 report. "Near term, we expect ALXN to continue to drive robust Soliris sales growth in PNH through strong commercial execution and geographic expansion."

Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals hit a 52-week high of $78.05 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $41.65 was on Feb. 4.

TheStreet Ratings gives Alexion a B+ grade with a $98.37 price target. The stock has increased 8.24% year to date.

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AutoZone

The car retailer is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on Feb. 28. Analysts, on average, anticipate $4.01 a share in profit on revenue of $1.78 billion.

AutoZone was upgraded to a neutral from a sell rating by Goldman Sachs on Monday. Barclays analysts raised their price target on the stock to $375 from $365 on Friday.

"We believe that AZO will continue to outperform as industry tailwinds are intact and management has demonstrated its ability to capitalize on those trends," Morgan Keegan analysts wrote in a report in early January.

Shares of AutoZone hit a 52-week high on Wednesday of $353.48. The stock's 52-week low of $247.36 was set on Feb. 23.

AutoZone receives a B- grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $456.63 price target. The stock has risen 8.45% year to date.


IAC/InterActiveCorp

The Internet company reported fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday of $48.8 million, a decrease of 44% from the prior year, on revenue of $596.9 million, an increase of 32%.

"Revenues were 4% ahead of our estimate and 5% above the Street, whileOIBA (operating income before amortization) exceeded by 5% and 6%,respectively," Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a report on Wednesday. "This resulted in organic OIBA growth of 41% y/y. Upside was driven by Search revenues and Match margins."

Shares of IAC/InterActiveCorp hit a 52-week high on Wednesday of $45.99. The stock's 52-week low of $28.31 was set on Feb. 2.

TheStreet Ratings gives IAC/InterActiveCorp a B grade with a $54.44 price target. The stock has risen 4.93% year to date.

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Arthur J. Gallagher

The insurance brokerage reported fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday of 43 cents a share, up 19% from a year earlier, on a revenue increase of 20% to $558 million.

"We expect revenue growth to remain encouraging with low single-digit organic revenue growth," Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 31. "Nevertheless, we expect the continued difficult operating environment, in addition to the ongoing integration of Heath Lambert, to keep margin improvementsomewhat muted through 2012."

Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher hit a 52-week high of $34.45 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $24.29 was set on Aug. 9.

Arthur J. Gallagher gets an A- grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $40.23 price target. The stock increased 2.51% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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