5 Tech Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: NVLS, HIT, RHT, EMC, TSM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Shares of technology companies Taiwan Semiconductor ( TSM), Novellus ( NVLS), EMC ( EMC), Red Hat ( RHT) and Hitachi ( HIT) all hit 52-week highs on Tuesday.

Taiwan Semiconductor

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $15.51. The stock's 52-week low of $10.75 was set on Aug. 18.

Taiwan Semiconductor shares trade at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 13.9X; the average for semiconductor companies is 23.13X. For comparison, United Microelectronic ( UMC) has a lower forward P/E of 13.28X.

Six of the eight analysts who cover Taiwan Semiconductor rate it at hold; two analysts give the stock a buy rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Taiwan Semiconductor an A+ grade with a buy rating and $17.36 price target. The stock has risen 19.13% year to date.

Analyst comment:

"TSMC believes supply chain inventory will return to seasonal levels by March vs prior expectations of 2Q12," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a March 15 report. "Whether inventory overshoots in the June quarter will depend on end-demand, it said. Nevertheless, TSMC expects upside to its current capex budget ($6bn), which is driven by 28nm demand and early-ramp yields."

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Novellus

Shares of Novellus hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $50.39. The stock's 52-week low of $25.95 was set on Oct. 4.

Novellus shares trade at a forward P/E of 15.04X; the average for semiconductor companies is 15.87X. For comparison, Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) has a lower forward P/E of 9.99X.

Ten of the 16 analysts who cover Novellus rated it hold; six analysts gave the stock a buy rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Novellus a B grade with a buy rating and $62.59 price target. The stock has risen 22.23% year to date.


EMC

Shares of EMC hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $29.79. The stock's 52-week low of $19.84 was set on Aug. 18.

EMC shares trade at a forward P/E of 15.01; the average for computer hardware companies is 16.22. For comparison, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Dell ( DELL) have lower forward P/Es of 5.38 and 7.49, respectively.

TheStreet Ratings gives EMC an A grade with a buy rating and $33.65 price target. The stock has risen 37.98% year to date.

Analyst comment:

"Following a detailed bottom up and top down analysis of EMC's Information Storage segment (74% of revenue in 2011), we raise our revenue estimates for the segment by 3%/4% for 2012/2013," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a March 22 report. "This drives our EPS to $1.82/$2.17 (5%/10% above consensus). We see mid-to-high teens EPS growth as sustainable for several years, and note that this provides line of sight toward EPS of $3 in 2015. EMC remains a preferred IT hardware pick as our new $35 TP suggests 20% upside."

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Red Hat

The open source software company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $291.22 million.

Shares of Red Hat hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $54.01. The stock's 52-week low of $31.77 was set on Aug. 19.

Red Hat shares trade at a forward P/E of 45.7X; the average for software companies is 30.91X. For comparison, Intuit ( INTU) has a lower forward P/E of 17.56X.

Fifteen of the 23 analysts who cover Red Hat rate it at buy. Seven analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Red Hat a B grade with a buy rating and $59.53 price target. The stock has risen 26.79% so far in 2012.

Analyst comment:

"Red Hat is scheduled to report its F4Q12 earnings after market close on 28th March 2012," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report Monday. "We expect Revenues/EPS of $291m/ $0.27 compared to street estimates of $291m/$0.27. We expect billings to grow 22% y/y. However, we believe the buy side expectations are much higher, given the strong rebound in the stock to reach an all-time high after it had traded off following the billings miss in the previous quarter. Demand trends continue to be stable and we expect RHT to deliver an in-line quarter. Maintain HOLD and $48 PT."


Hitachi

Shares of Hitachi hit a 52-week high of $63.51. The stock's 52-week low of $46.91 was set on Oct. 4.

Hitachi shares trade at a forward P/E of 11.1; the average for electronic equipment companies is 13.6X.

Analysts were split on Hitachi with one rated it a buy and one rating it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Hitachi a C+ grade and hold rating. The stock has risen 21.61% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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