NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of the following stocks hit 52-week highs on Friday: Colgate-Palmolive ( CL), J.M. Smucker ( SJM), WellCare Health ( WCG) and Par Pharmaceutical ( PRX).
Colgate-Palmolive "Solid organic growth momentum through 2H11 should carry into 2012 and the year is off to a good start," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a Feb. 24 report. "Sales should be driven by a combination of strong premium-priced innovation and advertising support (should grow more than sales in 2012). Half of 2012 pricing is a rollover from 2011. Management maintains a strong focus on cost control through its Funding the Growth ROI-focused program. Investors should see sequential gross margin improvement through the year. This should collectively drive currency-neutral double-digit EPS growth." Shares of Colgate-Palmolive hit a 52-week high Friday of $97.56. The stock's 52-week low of $78.62 was set on Aug. 9. Colgate-Palmolive has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 16.53 times; the average for personal products companies is 15.54. For comparison, both Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) and Avon ( AVP) have lower forward P/Es of 13.49 and 11.35, respectively. Sixteen of the 25 analysts who cover Colgate-Palmolive rated it hold. Seven analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Colgate-Palmolive an A grade with a buy rating and a $115.06 price target. The stock has risen 5.34% year to date.
WellCare Health "The company could also see competition from non-profit competitors in the upcoming RFP pipeline, which could lead to lower rates," Wedbush analysts wrote in a March 26 report. "An additional risk is the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act." Shares of WellCare Health hit a 52-week high of $72.27 on Friday. The stock's 52-week high of $33.29 on Oct. 4. WellCare Health's forward P/E is 13.94; the average for health care providers is 17.99. For comparison, both Coventry Health ( CVH) and Amerigroup ( AGP) have lower forward P/Es of 10.1 and 13.29 times. Nine of the 14 analysts who cover WellCare Health rated it hold; five analysts gave the stock a buy rating. TheStreet Ratings gives WellCare Health a B grade with a buy rating and a $85.29 price target. The stock has risen 37.37% year to date.