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.
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.
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.
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.