5 Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: Cost Plus, News Corp

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks hit 52-week highs on Thursday: Cost Plus ( CPWM), Family Dollar ( FDO), Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM), Valspar ( VAL) and News Corp ( NWSA).

Cost Plus

The casual home furnishings retailer reached a deal to be acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY) for $22 a share in cash, or about $500 million.

"We do not believe Bed Bath & Beyond intends to re-brand stores for either company, and instead believe Cost Plus will continue to pursue its expansion plans of opening new stores under the Cost Plus banner," Wedbush analysts wrote in a report Thursday.

Shares of Cost Plus hit a 52-week high of $21.97. The stock's 52-week low of $5.57 was set on Oct. 4.

Cost Plus trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 17.14 times; the average for specialty retailers is 15.22.

Four of the seven analysts who cover Cost Plus rated it hold. Two analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has risen 125.13% year to date.

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Family Dollar

The discount retailer declared Thursday a regular quarterly dividend of 21 cents a share. It will be paid on July 13.

"We believe FDO will experience higher levels of sales, given its merchandising initiatives, including food and HBA expansions, tobacco rollout, and cooler door expansion," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 4 report. "FDO is doubling the number of cooler/freezer doors from 5 to 10 doors in ~1,300 new and existing stores. Additionally, where it makes financial sense, FDO will extend the number of doors to 18 in select new and renovated locations."

Shares of Family Dollar hit a 52-week high on Thursday of $70. The stock's 52-week low of $44.42 was set on Aug. 9.

Family Dollar's forward P/E is 16.23; the average for specialty retailers is 15.18. For comparison, Dollar Tree ( DLTR) has a higher forward P/E of 17.96.

Fourteen of the 27 analysts who cover Family Dollar rated it hold. Eleven analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell.

The stock has risen 19.74% year to date.


Archer Daniels Midland

"We are raising our 12-month target price to $37 and maintaining our outperform rating on ADM following 3Q earnings," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a May 1 report. "While the results in the quarter were not great, the company executed well in a tough oilseeds environment and delivered better ethanol results than we feared. This reinforces our conviction that the company's transition to a more ROIC-focused management is working, and that ADM is set up for a much stronger FY 13. We expect ADM to benefit from a 12-14% increase in U.S. corn production, strong origination out of North America in the fall to compensate for the weak Brazilian soy crop, temporary shutdowns of 14-15 "destination" ethanol plants by competitors outside of the corn belt, and full realization of $150 million in savings from workforce reductions and the elimination of financial reporting redundancies by March, 2013."

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland hit a 52-week high Thursday of $33.98. The stock's 52-week low of $23.69 on Oct. 4.

Archer Daniels Midland's forward P/E is 10.8; the average for food products companies is 14.74. For comparison, Bunge ( BG) has a lower forward P/E of 8.93.

Seven of the 15 analysts who cover Archer Daniels Midland rated it buy. Six analysts gave the stock a hold rating and two rated it sell.

The stock has risen 18.22% year to date.

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Valspar

"We are raising our F2Q estimate from $0.72 to $0.85 by raising our top-line growth assumption in the Paints group, as well as our margin expectation," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a May 2 report. "For subsequent quarters, we are currently maintaining our estimates until we get a better handle on the magnitude of the weather benefit in the current quarter as well as to remain cautious on currently soft Asian (Chinese) paint volumes. In addition, we would note that if the housing recovery and coatings demand continue to improve, this along with sustained titanium ore cost increases could result in the pace of TiO2 prices starting to speed up again. With this risk still persisting as well as a rather full valuation on our new estimates, we remain on the sidelines with the stock. While are raising our TP to $54 (to reflect ~9.5x our new F2013 EBITDA), we are maintaining our Neutral rating."

Shares of Valspar hit a 52-week high Thursday of $52.71. The stock's 52-week low of $27.44 was set on Aug. 8.

Valspar's forward P/E is 14.74; the average for building materials and fixtures companies is 33.31. For comparison, Masco ( MAS) has a higher forward P/E of 23.04.

Eight of the 13 analysts who cover Valspar rated it hold; five analysts gave the stock a buy rating.

The stock has risen 35.75% year to date.


News Corp

The media company reported on Wednesday third-quarter net income of $937 million, or 38 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $639 million, or 24 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, third-quarter earnings were 37 cents a share.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 31 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares of News Corp hit a 52-week high Thursday of $20.50. The stock's 52-week low of $13.38 was set on Aug. 9.

News Corp's forward P/E is 12.01; the average for broadcast and entertainment companies is 25.35. For comparison, Walt Disney ( DIS) has a higher forward P/E of 13.13.

Nineteen of the 29 analysts who cover News Corp rated it buy. Nine analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has risen 15.19% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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