Bank of America Merrill Lynch has added Dollar General to its list of most recommended U.S. shares. Analyst Denise Chai says the Goodlettsville-based retailer will continue to make market-share gains and fully deserves a higher valuation than its peers. She has raised her price target to $56, the highest on the Street.
In addition, DG is expected to further optimize its capital allocation, leading to higher returns, buyback support and a lower cost of capital. We are raising our estimates and PO given our increased confidence in the company.
Dollar General shares (Ticker: DG) closed Tuesday trading at $47, just shy of their all-time high. They've risen 14 percent year to date.
Elsewhere at BofAML, analysts have upgraded shares of Noranda Aluminum to 'buy' from 'neutral' now that former majority owner Apollo Management has completed a secondary offering. That sale, they say, removes an overhang that has pushed Noranda (Ticker: NOR) down 18 percent in the past month.
Delek US Holdings may have climbed 50 percent since early December, but Tracey Ryniec at Zacks points out that there's still plenty of value in the parent of Mapco Express and owner of two mid-continent refineries. Now that the market's anxiety over crack spreads has subsided and analysts are hiking their earnings estimates, she says, Delek's low valuation ratios look inviting. Delek (Ticker: DK) closed Tuesday's session at $15.14, up about 1 percent on the day.
Zacks Investment Research has issued notes on two local companies, upgrading AmSurg to ‘neutral’ and pointing out how much the Street is falling in love with Genesco.
The AmSurg call, which comes with a $27 price target, cites the surgery center chain’s measured acquisition plans and healthy balance sheet. AmSurg shares (Ticker: AMSG) are up 25 percent so far this year.
When it comes to Genesco, Bill Wilton has the charts to show just how analysts are increasingly buying into the company’s growth story. Throughout each of the past few years, he says, the Street’s forecasts have ramped up during the year. They’re at it again in 2011.
The average estimate for fiscal 2012 rose 14 cents on the quarterly report and another 24 cents in just the past week, to $3.22. Next year’s jumped 17 cents and then 32 cents, to $3.79.
Genesco (Ticker: GCO) is up almost 40 percent year to date.
Fred Lowrance at Avondale Partners says there's a good chance Gaylord Entertainment will lift its earnings guidance when it reports first-quarter profits next week. The hotel sector as a whole is trending nicely upward, he wrote to clients this week, and operators are beginning to regain pricing power. Combine that with what is likely to be a good quarter from Gaylord Opryland as well as "continued strength in out-of-room spending patterns" and Lowrance sees the local company doubling the Street's 5-cents-per-share consensus. Gaylord shares (Ticker: GET) have climbed 10 percent in the past week and are up slightly so far in 2011.
Zacks Investment Research analysts have raised their rating on shares of HealthSpring to 'outperform' from 'neutral.' The move comes after the stock (Ticker: HS) has climbed more than 50 percent year to date. The Franklin-based insurer will report its Q1 numbers tomorrow morning.
Analyst Kevin Campbell at Avondale Partners says several prisons managed by Corrections Corp. of America have seen their populations rise unexpectedly this quarter. Between contracts for the U.S. Marshals Service and the Georgia, Campbell says CCA is housing 1,100 more detainees that his models had used. Adjust those numbers and you can add four cents per diluted share to his earnings forecasts this year and five cents in 2012. That in turn has lifted his price target for the 'outperform'-rated shares of CCA (Ticker: CXW) to $31 from $30.
About seven weeks after HCA's IPO, a consensus is emerging about where the hospital giant's shares could be headed in the coming quarters. Joe France at New York-based Gleacher & Co. last week launched coverage of Nashville-based HCA (Ticker: HCA) with a 'buy' rating and $40 target. That's in line with Soleil Securities and UBS, but Zacks isn't quite so bullish and rates the stock at 'neutral.'
Analysts at Moody's Investors Service have rewarded Louisiana-Pacific's better earnings, cost-cutting moves and balance-sheet padding with an upgrade of its outlook. The debt rating firm now has LP at 'stable' intead of 'negative' and also has upgraded its liquidity rating on the maker of construction materials. In their report, the analysts wrote that their move "reflects Moody's expectation that the company's financial results will remain volatile with a gradual improvement as U.S. housing starts move closer to trend levels. The company could face a pullback if OSB supply is not properly managed with respect to demand."
Zacks Investment Research has upgraded shares of Dollar General to 'outperform' from 'neutral.' The discount retailer is rated at that level or higher by more than half of the analysts tracking it, even though its shares (Ticker: DG) are up more than 13 percent in the past month.
Zacks Investment Research Chief Equity Strategist Dirk Van Dijk says public companies' Q1 earnings growth won't be as strong as in previous quarters — it was a whopping 30 percent in late 2010 — but will still reach double digits. He says consensus forecasts that see growth dropping to less than 8 percent are too negative and likely to be revised upward as the numbers start to come in. That is a good thing for the 2011 stock market, which also could get a lift from historical factors.
We are in the third year of the presidential cycle (almost always the best of the four, and by a big margin). We have a Democrat in the White House, which has historically meant good things for the stock market, with an average annualized return over the last 50 years more than triple that when the GOP holds the Oval Office. Few, if any, binomial variables have as much statistical significance.
Add Deutsche Bank's Adam Sindler to the list of unabashed Tractor Supply bulls. Sindler has reiterated his 'buy' rating on the Brentwood-based retailer and hiked his price target to $61 from $55, which puts him near the top of the Street's range. Tractor Supply shares (Ticker: TSCO) are up about 11 percent so far this year and 84 percent over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Zacks Investment Research has lowered its rating on shares of Emdeon, which recently reported in-line Q4 numbers, to 'underperform' from 'neutral.' Shares of Emdeon (Ticker: EM) are up 13 percent so far this year.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS