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Advance Auto Parts

The car parts retailer reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $66.4 million, or 92 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $48.1 million, or 58 cents.

"We continue to be buyers of AAP shares and are raising our price target to $96 reflecting 14x our 2013 estimate," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 17 report. "The bottom line is that Q4 results and the improvement AAP has demonstrated in 2011 lends credence to consistent and solid earnings growth in 2012 and beyond for this attractively valued company."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.3%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as last year.

Advance Auto Parts has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.09, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 18.42% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $103.08. The stock closed Monday at $88.50 and has risen 27.1% year to date.


Piedmont Natural Gas

The natural gas distribution company reported earlier this month first-quarter earnings of $76.2 million, or $1.05 a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $84.4 million, or $1.16 a share.

"Lower than expected results were primarily driven by warmer than normal weather, which negatively impacted wholesale marketing margins and residential and commercial volumes in SC and TN," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report on Sunday. "We were surprised at the degree of impact to PNY's utility results from the warmer than normal weather given PNY has weather normalization adjustments (WNA) mechanisms in SC and TN."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.8%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Piedmont Natural Gas has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.25, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 1.43% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $37.17. The stock closed Monday at $31.65 and has fallen 6.86% year to date.

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