3 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: ABT, JBHT, GKSR

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of these stocks hit 52-week highs on Wednesday: Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), J.B. Hunt Transportation ( JBHT) and G&K Services ( GKSR).

Abbott Laboratories

The pharmaceutical company reported Wednesday encouraging results from a hepatitis C treatment study that showed a cure rate of greater than 90% from a three-drug, all-oral regimen.

"In general, the results appear to make ABT competitive in the all-oral HCV space, however, the results are not flawless," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a report Wednesday.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $62.57. The stock's 52-week low of $46.29 was set on Aug. 9.

Abbott Laboratories has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio of 11.5 times; the average for pharmaceutical companies is 20.63. For comparison, Pfizer ( PFE) has a lower forward P/E of 9.48; Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ) forward P/E is 12.

Thirteen of the 26 analysts who cover Abbott Laboratories rated it hold. Twelve analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Abbott Laboratories an A grade with a buy rating and a $75.43 price target. The stock has risen 9.5% year to date.

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J.B. Hunt Transportation

"We are raising our 12-month price target to $60 from $56 on JBHT and bumping our 1Q12 EPS estimate from an in-line $0.51 to $0.53, given our belief that intermodal volumes, pricing, and margins have improved steadily throughout the first quarter and should continue to build momentum as the year unfolds," FBR analysts wrote in a March 27 report.

Shares of J.B. Hunt Transportation hit a 52-week high of $55.82 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $34.42 was set on Sept. 22.

J.B. Hunt's forward P/E is 18.96 times; the average for trucking companies is 15.42. For comparison, Old Dominion Freight Line ( ODFL) has a lower forward P/E of 14.7; C.H. Robinson's ( CHRW) forward P/E is 19.5.

Sixteen of the 28 analysts who cover J.B. Hunt rated it buy; 12 analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives J.B. Hunt an A+ grade with a buy rating and $64 price target. The stock has risen 23.63% year to date.


G&K Services

The uniform services company increased its quarterly dividend by 50% to 20 cents a share, and on Wednesday announced a special dividend of $6 a share.

"In a broadly positive move, G&K Services (GKSR-NASDAQ) announced this morning that it would pay a one-time special dividend of $6 per share, payable on April 27," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. "On a cash basis, this equates to approximately $113 million, which GKSR will fund using its recently refinanced revolving credit facility. The Company maintains roughly $100 million of available debt capacity and $58 million of share repurchase authorization, retaining some flexibility with regard to future deals and share buybacks. Additionally, GKSR announced a 50% increase to its quarterly dividend, raising it to $0.195 (from $0.13) and effectively boosting the yield to approximately 2.2% (from 1.5%)."

Shares of G&K hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $38.65. The stock's 52-week low of $24.24 was set on Oct. 4.

G&K's forward P/E is 16.06 times; the average for business support services companies is 19.73. For comparison, UniFirst ( UNF) and Geo Group ( GEO) both have lower forward P/Es of 13.69 and 11.5, respectively.

Four of the eight analysts who cover G&K rated it hold. Three analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives G&K a B grade with a buy rating and a $39.29 price target. The stock has risen 27.1% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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