3 Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: Akorn, Sunoco Logistics, Cincinnati Financial

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Shares of these companies hit 52-week highs on Friday: Akorn ( AKRX), Cincinnati Financial ( CINF) and Sunoco Logistics ( SXL).

Each of these companies gets a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

Akorn

The pharmaceutical company is scheduled to reports its fourth-quarter results on March 6. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 9 cents a share on $38.64 million in revenue.

"The Company is also steadily building an impressive pipeline of new product opportunities through internal development, product in-licensing and accretive acquisitions," Craig Hallum analysts wrote in a Jan. 18 report. "With uncertainty surrounding management's initial (and typically conservative) view of the new fiscal year's financial performance now out of the way, we encourage investors to get on board for what we believe should be another enjoyable ride."

Shares of Akorn hit a 52-week high Friday of $12.44. The stock's 52-week low of $4.97 was set on March 15.

Akorn is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 21.35X; the average for pharmaceutical companies is 18.99X. For comparison, Medicis Pharmaceutical ( MRX) and ViroPharma ( VPHM) both have lower forward P/Es of 18.77X and 17.01X respectively.

Of the five analysts who cover Akorn, four rated it a buy. One analyst gave the stock a sell rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Akorn a B grade and $15.28 price target. The stock has risen 10.7% year to date.

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Sunoco Logistics

The crude oil and refined products firm announced on Feb. 2 that Michael Hennigan will become the company's chief executive officer and president as of March 1. He is replacing Lynn Elsenhans, who is stepping down. Hennigan was previously the company's chief operating officer.

"SXL has a solid track record of growth through both acquisitions and organic expansions," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Jan. 27 report. "This growth has been supported by an investment grade balance sheet. SXL's strategic focus is growing its terminal and crude gathering and pipeline businesses to capitalize on opportunities for gasoline blending and growth in crude production associated with emerging shale plays. Successful execution of this strategy and integration of $450 million of announced acquisitions in 2011 alone should enable SXL to meet or exceed its distribution growth target of 7% over the next several years, in our view."

Shares of Sunoco Logistics hit a 52-week high of $40.09 on Friday. The stock's 52-week low of $24.40 was set on Aug. 8.

Sunoco Logistics has a forward P/E of 15.98X; the average for pipeline companies is 57.62. For comparison, Kinder Morgan Energy ( KMP) and Plains All American ( PAA) both have higher forward P/Es of 33.33X and 17.16X respectively.

Of the 13 analysts who cover Sunoco Logistics, nine rated the stock a hold. Two analysts each rated the stock a buy and a sell.

Sunoco Logistics gets an A+ grade from TheStreet Ratings and a $47.78 price target. The stock has increased 1.52% year to date.


Cincinnati Financial

The bank reported fourth-quarter earnings of $134 million, or 83 cents a share, on Wednesday, up from year-earlier earnings of $126 million, or 77 cents per share.

"Should the company be able to avoid some of the weather related losses seen inrecent quarters and build further momentum with regards to pricing, results could bounce back nicely in 2012," Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts wrote in a Feb. 8 report. "The stock has seen a nice run YTD in 2012, thus it trades at a premium to peers, which given the strong dividend yield is appropriate, but we need to see some sustained momentum on the bottom line to become more positive on the shares near-term."

Shares of Cincinnati Financial hit a 52-week high Friday of $34.65. The stock's 52-week low of $23.65 was set on Aug. 9.

Cincinnati Financial has a forward P/E of 24.10X; the average among its peers is 12.20X. For comparison, Allstate ( ALL) and Progressive ( PGR) both have lower forward P/Es of 7.72X and 12.6X respectively.

Six of the eight analysts who cover Cincinnati Financial rated it a hold. Two analysts gave the stock a sell rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Cincinnati Financial a B grade and has a $38.17 price target on the shares. The stock has risen 13.26% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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