Avon, Jacobs Engineering: S&P Laggards

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Avon Products ( AVP) and Jacobs Engineering Group ( JEC) were among the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 rose 7.91 points, or 0.57% to 1,405.82 as Wall Street began May on a positive note with investors encouraged by a strong read on manufacturing activity last month.

Shares of Avon Products dropped 8.01% to $19.87 on Tuesday. The beauty products company reported first-quarter earnings of $26.5 million, or 6 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $143.6 million, or 33 cents per share.

The stock currently trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 11.89X; the average for personal products companies is 15.59X. For comparison, Estee Lauder ( EL) has a higher forward P/E of 24.61X.

Eleven of the 16 analysts who cover Avon Products rate it at hold. Four analysts give the stock a buy rating and one rates it at sell.

The stock has risen 13.74% year to date.

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Shares of Jacobs Engineering fell 4.49% to $41.86. The construction services company reported second-quarter earnings of $83.9 million, or 65 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $80.3 million, or 63 cents, but the performance was weaker than anticipated.

"Our second quarter results were below expectations," said Chief Financial Officer John Prosser Jr. in a statement. "Three factors contributed to the results: first, our SG&A expenses were higher than expected; additionally, several planned turnarounds were deferred until FY13, reducing field services margins; lastly, professional services margins in March were lower than anticipated. As a result, we are revising our guidance for fiscal year 2012 to a range of $2.80 to $3.00 per share."

Analysts expected full-year 2012 profit of $3.04 a share.

Jacobs Engineering shares trade at a forward P/E of 12.29X; the average for heavy construction companies is 12.52X. For comparison, Fluor ( FLR) has a higher forward P/E of 13.42X.

Thirteen of the 23 analysts who cover Jacobs Engineering rate it at buy; 10 analysts give the stock a hold rating.

The stock has risen 3.15% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York..

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