I’m completing my due diligence and analysis process for the newest Rhino Stock play to hit our portfolio – more on that in a bit – so, with that in mind, I’m keeping this week’s market update short and sweet…
Four of our portfolio companies announced earnings in the last week or so, and all four beat the outlook expected by Wall Street analysts. First, we’ll take a look at earnings, then I’ll give you a preview of our newest watchlist play:
SPX Corporation (NYSE:SPW) announced earnings this past week, completely obliterating Wall Street’s expectations of 71 cent per share by delivering income of a full dollar for Q2 2010. Revenue numbers fell in line with expectations. Better still, management guided Q3 EPS in the $1 to $1.10 range, exceeding analyst expectations of 89 cents.
With a capital-heavy business model, SPX Corp. took some significant knocks in 2009 as revenues were slow to recover. The numbers announced by the company last week should start to accelerate this stock’s comeback.
Our wholesale power generation play, NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) has been another stock that’s underperformed the broad market as commodity costs, expensive capital expenditures, and stifled energy demands impacted its financials. Again though, the company surprised analysts with second quarter earnings numbers of 81 cents per share – nearly twice estimates of 42 cents. As with SPX, NRG Energy’s revenues fell largely into line with estimates.
That phenomenon of increasing income and in-line revenues is worth watching – after all, it means that efficiency is improving and margins are widening, two factors that could suggest that a more bullish model is needed for these firms. Ahead of earnings numbers, RBC analysts raised their view of NRG’s shares to outperform, with a price target of $30.
Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) is another stock that pleased investors with its quarterly numbers, the medical supply giant announced earnings of $1.30 per share. Analysts had hoped for $1.24.
Becton is one of the three stocks that’s currently in negative territory for our Rhino Stock portfolio (coincidentally, NRG is another), but that could soon change. Becton has been getting increasing attention lately, including an East Coast Asset Management research report on the stock. The hedge fund thinks that Becton investors could see a double-digit upside in the next few quarters thanks to a deep economic moat and substantial misgivings about the stock’s real performance.
I’m inclined to agree (you can download the research report here).
Our best performer for 2010, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) announced its earnings numbers on Friday, outpacing earnings expectations despite some derivative losses for the second quarter. While the effects of derivatives were negative, the company saw improvements across most of its business lines, and I’m pleased to see that the rally shares have seen this year are being backed up by fundamental performance.
We’re currently up 21.6% on the position since adding the stock to the Rhino Stock Report’s portfolio in January.
Adding a Financial Stock to The Watchlist
Despite significant economic improvements since 2008, many investors continue to eschew the financial stocks. That’s a big mistake when you consider the fact that many of these firms are still enjoying booming business. But while investor pressures hold shares down temporarily, others could be enjoying a great time to pick up shares.
That’s the case with AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB), a $2.8 billion asset manager that I’m adding to our Rhino Stock Report watchlist this weekend.
AllianceBernstein invests on behalf of institutional and retail clients in efforts to generate the highest returns possible. In exchange, the company earns asset management fees. But AB isn’t your typical money manager. The company’s massive value prospect, massive dividend, and unique business structure make it a potentially lucrative opportunity right now.
In fact, my valuation model places this stock at between a 16% and 70% discount to where its share prices should be. That’s a disparity that likely won’t last long as AB continues to generate substantial income…
Not so fast – don’t buy shares of AllianceBernstein just yet. I’m completing my due diligence on this stock this week… I’ll have my detailed report (along with buy and sell target prices) to your inbox later this coming week.
Until then, watch out for earnings of Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE:CSC) on August 11.