NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of these stocks hit 52-week highs on Wednesday: American Express ( AXP), Intel ( INTC), Lockheed Martin ( LMT), Mead Johnson ( MJN), Cirrus Logic ( CRUS), Marsh & McLennan ( MMC), BB&T ( BBT), Tyco International ( TYC) and LSI ( LSI).
American Express The credit card company passed the Federal Reserve's stress test and anticipates $4 billion in buybacks in 2012. "Given excess capital generation, slower balance sheet growth, and a lack of significant acquisitions relative to current capital levels, we believe the repurchase authorization post the CCAR process will increase shareholder value," Guggenheim analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high of $56.28 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4. American Express has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 11.87 times; the average among its peers is 11.97. Seventeen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rated it buy. Eleven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and three rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives American Express an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $61.16 price target. The stock has risen 18.63% year to date.
Lockheed Martin "Budget pressures sure to intensify after this year's election, the F-35 will remain on the chopping block as long as America's fiscal dilemma lingers," Drexel Hamilton analysts wrote in a March 5 report. Shares of Lockheed Martin hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $91.01. The stock's 52-week low of $66.36 was set on Aug. 11. Lockheed Martin's forward P/E is 10.65; the average for defense companies is 11.19. For comparison, both General Dynamics ( GD) and Raytheon ( RTN) have lower forward P/Es of 9.46 and 9.42, respectively. Eighteen of the 25 analysts who cover Lockheed Martin rated it hold. Five analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Lockheed Martin a B grade with a buy rating and $105.11 price target. The stock has risen 11.68% year to date.
Cirrus Logic "CRUS remains a top back-door play on the growth and success of Apple," Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Since winning an initial audio codec socket in the classic iPod, CRUS now effectively owns AAPL's audio codec business and we do not expect to see any lost share this year. We expect CRUS' ASP to remain stable in 2012 while content could increase." Shares of Cirrus Logic hit a 52-week high of $24.39. The stock's 52-week low of $12.52 was set on Aug. 9. Cirrus Logic's forward P/E is 15.15; the average for semiconductor companies is 15.65. For comparison, both Cypress Semiconductor ( CY) and Microsemi ( MSCC) have lower forward P/Es of 13.52 and 8.41, respectively. Five of the six analysts who cover Cirrus Logic rated it buy; one rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Cirrus Logic a B grade with a buy rating and a $27.07 price target. The stock has risen 51.92% year to date.
BB&T The bank passed the stress test with a 6.4% capital ratio. "We are increasing our 2012 YE sharecount to 705M (assumes 1M in net repurchases), but are raising our 2Q dividend to $0.19 from $0.17," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "We estimate there may even be a chance BBT can increase its dividend above 30% of net income, due to the fact that it may not repurchase any shares. Recall, we believe BBT included the impact of the BBX investment, but not the Crump Insurance business in its CCAR plan." Shares of BB&T hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $30.68. The stock's 52-week low of $18.92 was set on Aug. 23. BB&T's forward P/E is 10.72; the average for its peers is also 10.72. For comparison, Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) has a lower forward P/E of 9.23; People's United Financial's ( PBCT) forward P/E is 13.76. Twenty-two of the 38 analysts who cover BB&T rated it hold. Thirteen analysts gave the stock a buy rating and three rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives BB&T an A- grade with a buy rating and a $33.61 price target. The stock has risen 20.66% year to date.
LSI The chipmaker raised its first-quarter revenue guidance on Wednesday to between $585 million and $615 million, up from previous estimates of between $550 million and $590 million. "LSI is one of our top Small and Mid (SMID) cap growth picks for 2012/13," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. Shares of LSI hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $9.20. The stock's 52-week low of $4.75 was set on Oct. 4. LSI's forward P/E is 12.71; the average for semiconductor companies is 15.41. For comparison, KLA-Tencor ( KLAC) has a lower forward P/E of 11.11. Eleven of the 16 analysts who cover LSI rated it buy. Three analysts gave the stock a hold rating and two rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives LSI a B- grade with a buy rating and $9.85 price target. The stock has risen 53.19% year to date.