Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: Sara Lee, Nu Skin

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Sara Lee ( SLE) and Nu Skin ( NUS) hit 52-week highs on Thursday the same day they reported earnings.

Sara Lee

The food company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $469 million, or 79 cents a share, down from $833 million, or $1.30, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations were 27 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting profit of 25 cents a share.

"We continue to recommend SLE based on our view that the coffee business ispoised for a turnaround as well as the potential value creation of the split," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Thursday.

Sara Lee is separating its meats division from its European beverage unit.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts have a buy rating on the stock and $21 price target. The majority (eight) of the analysts who cover Sara Lee consider it a hold. Six categorized it as a buy and one rated it a sell.

Shares of Sara Lee hit a 52-week high of $19.92 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $15.66 was set on Oct. 4.

Sara Lee's estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year is 18.83. The average for the food products area is 13.89. For lower forward P/E ratios, look at Kellogg ( K), Tyson Foods ( TSN) and Smithfield ( SFD) with 13.48, 7.85 and 8.01 forward P/E ratios, respectively.

TheStreet Ratings gives Sara Lee a B- grade with a buy rating and $24.50 price target. The stock has risen 4.86% year to date.

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Nu Skin

The personal care products company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $49.5 million, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $495.3 million. Earnings a year earlier were $37.3 million, or 58 cents.

"Given such healthy earnings growth and free cash flow generation in recent quarters, Nu Skin announced another dividend boost, this time of 25%," Wedbush analysts wrote in a report on Thursday. "This increase is particularly noteworthy given that the company just raised the dividend 19% in Q3:2011."

Wedbush analysts rate Nu Skin as outperform; all nine of the analysts who cover the company rate the stock a buy. Wedbush's price target is $51.34.

Shares of Nu Skin reached a 52-week high of $53.98 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $27.50 was set on March 15.

Nu Skin's estimated P/E for next year is 15.52. The average among companies in its industry is 15.84. Avon's ( AVP) forward P/E is 10.73.

TheStreet Ratings gave Nu Skin an A+ grade with a buy rating and $65.21 price target.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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