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Black Hills

The diversified energy company reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $26.5 million, or 62 cents a share, an increase from year-earlier earnings of $16.3 million, or 41 cents.

"We are hoisting our 12-18 month price target from $34 to $35, in order to recognize the earnings growth potential of a number of capital projects that the company is planning, which could push the five-year EPS growth prospect well above the 6% rate that we have been carrying," D.A. Davidson analysts wrote in a Feb. 7 report. "Our new target equates to ~16x (previously 15.5x) the average of our 2012 and 2013 EPS estimates. At the current share price we are maintaining a NEUTRAL rating."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.2%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margins were basically the same as a year ago.

Black Hills has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.36, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth remained about the same as it did the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $39.20. The stock closed Friday at $34.99 and has increased 4.2% year to date.


MarketAxess

The electronic trading platform reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $11.5 million, or 29 cents a share, an increase from year-earlier earnings of $8.9 million, or 23 cents.

"The structural trend of more small-sized trades over block trades being executed across the industry favors the MKTX model," Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts wrote in a Feb. 1 report. "However, dealer inventory and willingness to take risk still give us pause as 75-80% of dollar volume executed on MKTX's platform is still with the large dealers."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.4%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin increased from the prior year.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 17.99% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $44.60. The stock closed Friday at $32.23 and has risen 7.04% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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