Estee Lauder "EL's underlying business remained strong in FQ2, but they failed to deliver the expected upside to consensus," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a Feb. 6 report. "Although we think there are areas of upside within their FY12 outlook, with the expected deceleration in some markets and their desire to hold on to share gains, we think management may choose to further dial up spending as opposed to drop it to the bottom line." Shares of Estee Lauder hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $60.85. The stock's 52-week low of $40.76 was set on Oct. 4. Estee Lauder has a forward P/E of 23.43; the average for personal products companies is 15.39. For comparison, both Nu Skin Enterprises ( NUS) and Revlon ( REV) have lower forward P/Es of 17.74 and 10.05, respectively. Eleven of the 19 analysts who cover Estee Lauder rated it buy; eight analysts gave the stock a hold rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Estee Lauder an A+ grade with a buy rating and $77.32 price target. The stock has risen 8.23% year to date.
Whole Foods Market Coverage of the grocery chain was initiated at UBS with a buy on Tuesday. "WFM can unlock demand for natural/organic food by reinvesting scale efficiencies into lower prices," UBS analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "Our price elasticity analysis shows natural/organic affordability is the barrier to substantially higher demand." Shares of Whole Foods Market hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $85.25. The stock's 52-week low of $53.32 was set on Aug. 9. Whole Foods' forward P/E is 31.74; the average for food retailers is 32.94. For comparison, Kroger ( KR) has a lower P/E of 9.76. Fifteen of the 27 analysts who cover Whole Foods rated it buy. Nine analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Whole Foods an A+ grade with a buy rating and $110.04 price target. The stock has risen 22.2% year to date.