4 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: Kraft, Comcast

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of the following stocks hit 52-week highs on Monday: Kraft Foods ( KFT), Comcast ( CMCSA), Marsh & McLennan ( MMC) and Haemonetics ( HAE).

Kraft Foods

The food products company's stock was upgraded to overweight from neutral by JPMorgan analysts on Monday. The analysts gave the stock a $45 price target.

"For 1Q12 (to be reported this Thursday), we are $0.03 above the Street, and for the year we are $0.05 above," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report Monday. "Besides our optimism about fundamentals, we also think Kraft will push hard to drive strong earnings into one of the most important investor events in its history: the pending separation of GroceryCo and SnackCo, scheduled for 4Q12. Speaking of the split, we think it is possible that event-driven investors gain interest in KFT as the separation - scheduled for 4Q12 - approaches."

Shares of Kraft hit a 52-week high Monday of $39.88. The stock's 52-week low of $31.88 was set on Oct. 4.

Kraft trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 14.2 times; the average for food products companies is 17.55. For comparison, ConAgra ( CAG) has a lower forward P/E of 13.45.

Sixteen of the 21 analysts who cover Kraft Foods rated it buy. Four analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has risen 6.64% year to date.

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Comcast

"We also expect solid HSD net adds, as the broadband category continues to show overall growth, and more importantly, the DSL category continues to show weakness," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an April 27 report. "We are looking for 404k HSD net adds in 1Q, just below 1Q11 HSD net adds of 418k."

Shares of Comcast hit a 52-week high Monday of $30.46. The stock's 52-week low of $19.19 was set on Aug. 9.

Comcast's forward P/E is 13.76; the average for broadcasting and entertainment companies is 34.26. For comparison, Time Warner ( TWX) has a lower forward P/E of 10.34.

Twenty-three of the 31 analysts who cover Comcast rated it buy. Seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has risen 28.09% year to date.


Marsh & McLennan

The professional services company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $3.04 billion.

"We are downgrading the shares of Marsh & McLennan (MMC) to Underweight from Neutral," JPMorgan analysts wrote in an April 20 report. "Our view reflects weak relative stock prospects rather than a non-consensus view on fundamentals or an adverse view of 1Q results. Specifically, we see little room for upside revisions to EPS estimates over the next twelve months as estimates currently contemplate improved organic growth and margins. In addition, despite a constructive view of growth, we believe quarter-to-quarter growth could be more volatile than in the past reflecting uneven fundamentals globally. Finally, while we expect margin improvements at the company's consulting operations over time, the operation's structural margins may be lower than some bulls believe as higher growth businesses may run at lower-than-average margins. With visibility improving at some competitors, combined with the stock trading at our current December 2012 price target of $32, we believe an Underweight rating is warranted over the short term."

Shares of Marsh & McLennan hit a 52-week high Monday of $33.57. The stock's 52-week low of $25.29 was set on Oct. 4.

Marsh & McLennan's forward P/E is 13.85; the average for insurance brokerages is 10.84. For comparison, Fortegra Financial ( FRF) has a lower forward P/E of 7.83.

Fifteen of the 21 analysts who cover Marsh & McLennan rated it buy. Four analysts gave the stock a hold and two rated it sell.

The stock has risen 5.95% year to date.

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Haemonetics

The diagnostics company is acquiring some of Pall's ( PLL) blood collection assets to the tune of about $550 million.

The blood component collection device company reported on Sunday fourth-quarter earnings of $17.8 million, or 69 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $21 million, or 81 cents.

Shares of Haemonetics hit a 52-week high Monday of $72. The stock's 52-week low of $54.99 was set on Sept. 22.

Haemonetics has a forward P/E of 18.15; the average for medical supplies companies is 20.48. For comparison, Alere ( ALR) has a lower forward P/E of 8.44.

Five of the eight analysts who cover Haemonetics gave the stock a hold rating. Two analysts rated it buy and one gave the stock a sell rating.

The stock has risen 15.65% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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