8 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: HLF, PCLN, DG, PAG, FITB, CMI, CHKP, ASML

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of these stocks hit 52-week highs on Thursday: Priceline.com ( PCLN), Herbalife ( HLF), Penske Automotive Group ( PAG), Dollar General ( DG), Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), Check Point Software Technologies ( CHKP), Cummins ( CMI) and ASML Holding ( ASML).

Priceline.com

"While Priceline grew its already dominant ad presence modestly since Sept-11, Expedia-owned sites maintained a solid ad presence, appearing in 62% of emerging country searches in Mar-12 vs. 71% in Sept-11," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. "Meanwhile, 100% of hotel searches in mature mkts surveyed had a paid ad for a Priceline-owned site, 90% had a paid ad for an Expediaowned site, and 21% of searches had a paid ad for an Orbitz-owned site. Our survey included searches in 29 mature mkts and 34 emerging mkts."

Shares of Priceline.com hit a 52-week high of $659.67 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $411.26 was set on Oct. 4.

Priceline.com has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio of 17.01 times; the average for travel and tourism companies is 16.65. For comparison, Expedia's ( EXPE) forward P/E is 10.48.

Nineteen of the 23 analysts who cover Priceline.com rated it buy. Three analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Priceline.com an A grade with a buy rating and a $788.39 price target. The stock has risen 39.65% year to date.

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Herbalife

"HLF has shown a consistent ability to drive consumption higher across emerging markets via adoption of the club concept, and there seems to be significantly more runway," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a March 8 report. "Because outsized volume growth (21% in 2011) is driven by expanded adoption of an appealing distribution model, and is not yet as reliant on material product innovation, we see growth as potentially atypically predictable/sustainable relative to industry peers."

Shares of Herbalife hit a 52-week high Thursday of $71.41. The stock's 52-week low of $37.76 was set one year ago.

Eleven of the 12 analysts who cover Herbalife rated it buy; one analyst gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Herbalife an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $87.78 price target. The stock has risen 36.38% year to date.


Penske Automotive Group

"Our Buy rating for PAG reflects valuation along with the likelihood of an improving industry environment in the U.S., a stabilizing market in the U.K., cash returns to shareholders, PAG's acquisition track record, and valuation," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a report Wednesday.

Shares of Penske Automotive Group hit a 52-week high Thursday of $25.90. The stock's 52-week low of $14.87 was set on Oct. 4.

Penske Automotive Group has a forward P/E of 11.35; the average for specialty retailers is 16.84. For comparison, Asbury Automotive Group ( ABG) has a lower forward P/E of 10.89; Group 1 Automotive's ( GPI) forward P/E is 11.87.

Eight of the 14 analysts who cover Penske Automotive Group rated it buy. Five analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Penske Automotive Group a B- grade with a buy rating and a $31.64 price target. The stock has risen 32% year to date.

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Dollar General

"We continue to favor DG as it has all of the attributes we believe are vital within retail," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "(1) DG continues to experience strong SSS momentum with positive traffic over the last 12 quarters; (2) impressive square footage growth (6% average last three years) with 6.6% growth likely in 2012, along with a focused re-model program that provides solid base SSS, (3) consistent focus on its pricing strategy (last two DB proprietary pricing studies showed DG was consistently priced ahead of FDO/in-line w/WMT), and (4) a balance sheet that is improving and flexible."

Shares of Dollar General hit a 52-week high Thursday of $45.75. The stock's 52-week low of $28.18 was set a year ago.

Dollar General's forward P/E is 16.68; the average for specialty retailers is 16.02.

Fifteen of the 24 analysts who cover Dollar General rated it buy. Eight analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Dollar General a B- grade with a buy rating and a $56.94 price target. The stock has risen 9.77% year to date.


Fifth Third Bancorp

"After the close, FITB announced that the Fed had partially objected to its 2012 capital plan, including its plan to increase its quarterly dividend and begin repurchasing common shares (outside the amount equal to any gain related to the Vantiv IPO)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "The rejection is a surprise to us, given FITB's strength on the CCAR results. While FITB did not "fail" the CCAR (i.e., breach 5% tier 1 common), we still believe the Fed's rejection of its capital plans will be a disappointment to investors and we expect the stock to be an underperformer tomorrow."

Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp hit a 52-week high of $14.72 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $9.13 was set on Aug. 23.

Fifth Third Bancorp has a forward P/E of 9.55; the average for banks is 14.1. For comparison, both BB&T ( BBT) and M&T Bank ( MTB) have higher forward P/Es of 10.91 and 11.35, respectively.

Twenty-one of the 33 analysts who cover Fifth Third Bancorp rated it buy. Eleven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Fifth Third Bancorp a B grade with a buy rating and a $15.56 price target. The stock has risen 14.39% year to date.

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Check Point Software Technologies

"We expect CHKP's share outperformance (up 73% since the beginning of 2010 versus the S&P 500 up 21%) to become more challenging as the strong execution on Nokia upgrades and a refresh of its core business to higher throughput appliances expansion likely moderates," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a Feb. 10 report. "While upside could be driven by blade adoption and IPSO upgrades, we also see risks to FCF growth from limited margin expansion potential, a legacy tied to a mature network security segment, and increased competition from emerging competitors."

Shares of Check Point Software Technologies hit a 52-week high Thursday of $62.99. The stock's 52-week low of $47.11 was set on March 17.

Check Point Software Technologies has a forward P/E of 17.93; the average for software companies is 15.78. For comparison, Allot Communications ( ALLT) has a higher forward P/E of 32.79.

Twenty-one of the 30 analysts who cover Check Point Software Technologies rated it buy; nine analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Check Point Software Technologies an A grade with a buy rating and a $75.56 price target. The stock has risen 20.1% year to date.


Cummins

"We continue to believe that CMI maintains one of the strongest longer-term potential internal growth stories driven by significant balance sheet potency, ongoing North American end market demand recovery and three main secular trends (increasingly stringent emissions standards changes that should drive incremental revenue opportunities on a global scale, demand for increased vehicle fuel economy and increased demand for power generation)," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a March 5 report.

Shares of Cummins hit a 52-week high of $127.31 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week low of $79.53 was set on Oct. 4.

Cummins has a forward P/E of 10.84; the average for commercial vehicle and truck companies is 21.74. For comparison, Deere ( DE) has a forward P/E of 9.57.

Fifteen of the 20 analysts who cover Cummins rated it buy; five analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Cummins an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $138.58 price target. The stock has risen 44.76% year to date.

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ASML Holdings

"The long term prospects for ASML remain bright given their lead with the current immersion technologies and future EUV roll-outs," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. "We maintain our Buy rating."

Shares of ASML Holding hit a 52-week high on Thursday of $48.20. The stock's 52-week low of $30.65 was set on Aug. 8.

ASML Holdings has a forward P/E of 10.05; the average for semiconductor companies is 10.85.

Five of the seven analysts who cover ASML Holdings rated it buy; two analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives ASML Holdings a B+ grade with a buy rating and a $57.54 price target. The stock has risen 15.03% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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