5 Stocks Reach 52-Week Highs: QCOM, CBS, LVS, VRSN, EP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Qualcomm ( QCOM), CBS ( CBS), Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), VeriSign ( VRSN) and El Paso ( EP) hit 52-week highs on Monday.

Qualcomm

"Over the weekend, Apple announced that its 'New iPad' was sold out on pre-orders over the first weekend," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a March 12 report. "We believe the ~2M on pre-orders and the 6-8M new iPad builds for the March Quarter should be a tailwind for QCOM. It should also be positive for AVGO. Also note that ZTE has been ramping multiple new phone models in the U.S. and Europe in the MarchQ with QCOM, such as the ZTE Skate and the ZTE Fury among others. We believe all points to increasing QCOM traction."

Shares of Qualcomm hit a 52-week high on Monday of $66.82. The stock's 52-week low of $45.98 was set on Aug. 22.

Qualcomm has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 16 times; the average for semiconductor companies is 14.44. For comparison, Intel ( INTC) and Broadcom ( BRCM) have lower forward P/Es of 10.36 and 12.58, respectively.

Thirty-seven of the 43 analysts who cover Qualcomm rated it buy. Six analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Qualcomm an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $75.54 price target. The stock has risen 22.12% year to date.

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CBS

"CBS acted earlier than its peers in announcing next season's pick-ups this week, bringing back 15 series next season in addition to three that were already coming back after multiple season pickups last year," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a March 16 report. "The move comes as no surprise since CBS has the most stability of the broadcast networks and CEO Les Moonves cited only 90 minutes of weakness in theprimetime schedule last month when speaking at the DB Media Conference."

Shares of CBS hit a 52-week high Monday of $31.98. The stock's 52-week low of $17.99 was set on Oct. 4.

CBS' forward P/E is 11.75; the average for broadcast and entertainment companies is 29.16. For comparison, both Time Warner ( TWX) and Viacom ( VIAB) have lower forward P/Es of 9.99 and 9.48, respectively.

Twenty of the 30 analysts who cover CBS rated it buy; 10 analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives CBS a B+ grade with a buy rating and a $41.37 price target. The stock has risen 17.94% year to date.


Las Vegas Sands

The resort company is opening the Sands Cotai Central property in Macau on April 11.

"January 2012 benefited from the earlier Chinese New Years, and conversely, February will be impacted," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report on March 8. "However, our analysis finds that the impact may not be as great as some assume, and with many special events (the Rugby World Cup, an MMA event, a majorfight and Super Bowl weekend) in February, we are guessing that Las Vegas Strip win will be up modestly this year. We have come to understand that the separation of Chinese New Year and Super Bowl week actually helps to even out VIP play and helps the high end properties. We have compared January and February Chinese New Years for the last seven years and see a clear distinction between the two. In 2006 and 2009 when Chinese New Year fell in January, that month accounted for about 54% of combined Strip win. In 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, that January share was about 49%. Based on a 54% share this year and Strip total win of $623 million, February 2012 could be approximately $530 million, or 3% ahead of 2011. We think that is doable."

Shares of Las Vegas Sands hit a 52-week high Monday of $59. The stock's 52-week low of $36.08 was set on Aug. 8.

Las Vegas Sands' forward P/E is 19.01; the average for gambling companies is 16.18. For comparison, Wynn Resorts ( WYNN) has a forward P/E of 18.92.

Twenty-three of the 28 analysts who cover Las Vegas Sands rated it buy. Three analysts gave the stock a hold rating and two rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Las Vegas Sands a C+ grade and a hold rating. The stock has risen 39.78% year to date.

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VeriSign

"Management indicated that a 2012 (year-exit) margin potential of 53-54%; in our revised model, we project a 4Q-2012 operating margin of 53.1%," ThinkEquity analysts wrote in a Jan. 27 report. "For 2012E, our model reflects a full year cash operating margin of 52.5%, +274bp yr/yr. While our margin assumptions and those implied by management's guidance may appear conservative, margins have climbed sharply in recent quarters, partially due to a patient, selective approach to spending generally and R&D specifically. Management has indicated intention to potentially increase expense rates and infrastructure spending targeting advanced and highly specialized domain security services, while the M&A strategy continues to focus on fit with the domain management business, and quality of revenue."

Shares of VeriSign hit a 52-week high on Monday of $38.74. The stock's 52-week low of $27 was set on Sept. 22.

VeriSign's forward P/E is 17.2; the average for computer services is 23.94. For comparison, Teradata ( TDC) has a forward P/E of 22.82.

Ten of the 16 analysts who cover VeriSign rated it buy. Five analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives VeriSign a B- grade with a buy rating and a $43.87 price target. The stock has risen 9.18% year to date.


El Paso

Kinder Morgan has a tentative agreement to sell about 7,200 miles of its pipelines to help it get approval for its acquisition of El Paso, according to Bloomberg.

"The Kinder Morgan. Inc. (KMI) - El Paso Corp. (EP) merger is expected to close in May," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a March 16 report. "2) Asset divestitures at Kinder Morgan Pipeline Partners (KMP) have been identified, and 3) Financial targets reiterated by Kinder Morgan."

Shares of El Paso hit a 52-week high Monday of $29.45. The stock's 52-week low of $16.30 was set on Oct. 4.

El Paso's forward P/E is 24.09; the average for pipeline companies is 25.18. For comparison, Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA) has a forward P/E of 16.94.

Six of the 12 analysts who cover El Paso rated it hold. Five analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives El Paso a B- grade with a buy rating and a $37.80 price target. The stock has risen 10.95% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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