Valspar "In a challenging demand environment, Valspar Corporation (VAL-NYSE) managed to produce strong results in its fiscal 1Q12 with EPS of $0.62 vs. $0.39 a year ago," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a Feb. 17 report. "Moving forward, we do expect some businesses to remain less than robust in terms of volume, specifically the U.S. DIY market, the Australian architectural market, and packaging coatings in Europe and North America. However, the Company should keep on benefiting from new business wins, strength in its coil, general industrial and powder coatings businesses and growth in the Asian and South American markets. We also expect total profitability to improve further moving into the seasonally stronger fiscal 2Q12 and 3Q12 due to the operating leverage, pricing actions and benefits from restructuring despite raw materials beginning to move upward once again." Shares of Valspar hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $51.15. The stock's 52-week low of $27.44 was set on Aug. 8. Valspar's forward P/E is 14.34; the average for building materials and fixtures companies is 25.91. For comparison, Masco ( MAS) has a higher forward P/E of 20.06. Eight of the 13 analysts who cover Valspar rated it hold; five analysts gave the stock a buy rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Valspar a B+ grade with a buy rating and $62.68 price target. The stock has risen 31.1% year to date.
Madison Square Garden "We remain constructive but Neutral on MSG shares, as positive catalyst potential over the NT appears limited to the Knicks and Rangers' ability to advance to second round playoffs followed by a fairly quiet summertime closure of The Garden, thus limiting 2012E upside," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 2 report. Shares of Madison Square Garden hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $35.49. The stock's 52-week low of $21.12 was set on Oct. 4. Madison Square Garden's forward P/E is 26.56; the average for recreation services companies is 15.59. For comparison, International Speedway ( ISCA) has a lower forward P/E of 14.28. Analysts were split on Madison Square Garden with five giving it a buy rating, another five rating it hold and one analyst giving Madison Square Garden a sell rating. TheStreet Ratings gives Madison Square Garden a C grade and hold rating. The stock has risen 24.04% year to date.