McGraw Hill Financial, Inc.
) could prove to be a solid bet for investors. Ever since the
company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2013 results
and provided an upbeat guidance (on Feb 4), the Estimate has been
trending upwards. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has
moved to $3.80 from $3.76 and for 2015, it has risen to $4.30
from $4.27, over the last 30 days.
MCGRAW HILL FIN (MHFI): Free Stock Analysis
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VERISK ANALYTIC (VRSK): Free Stock Analysis
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Further, since the earnings release, the stock has garnered a
return of nearly 6%. Recently, the stock hit a 52-week high of
$82.05 on Feb 14. Additionally, the company's long-term estimated
earnings per share growth rate is 15.5%, which seems achievable.
Investors are impressed by this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock as it
posted earnings per share of 81 cents, which rose 12% from the
year-ago quarter figure and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by
a couple of cents. Total revenue increased 2% year over year to
$1,250 million, reflecting strong performance across all
businesses except the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.
Moreover, the reported revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1,241 million.
Following the strong performance, McGraw Hill now projects
adjusted earnings in the range of $3.75-$3.85 per share. Further,
the company anticipates revenue growth in mid single digits. In
2014, the company is likely to generate free cash flow worth $1
McGraw Hill is an attractive pick for investors seeking both
growth and income, as the company announced a dividend hike on
Jan 29, 2014. Moreover, it raised its quarterly dividend by 7.1%
to 30 cents per share (or $1.20 annually) from 28 cents (or $1.12
annually). The new payout will be given on Mar 12, 2014 to
stockholders of record on Feb 26.
Additionally, the company is likely to benefit from its strategic
investments aimed to generate long-term profitability. The
company's focus on high margin business through proper capital
allocation is reaping success.
Further, McGraw Hill's earnings streak makes investors optimistic
about the stock's future performance. The company has beaten the
Zacks Consensus Estimate in the past 4 quarters by an average of
Other better-ranked stocks in the retail sector that warrant a
The New York Times Co.
Verisk Analytics, Inc.
). While Tribune carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both
New York Times and Verisk Analytics have a Zacks Rank #2.