Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
) soared to a new 52-week high of $26.11 on Thursday, Mar 28,
2013. The closing price of the producer of Sharpie pens and
Rubbermaid containers as on Mar 28 was $26.10, which represented
a solid return of 45.2% over the past one year. Average volume of
shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately
2.986 million. Moreover, the stock currently trades at a forward
P/E of 14.3x, at par with the peer group average.
An impressive record of posting better-than-expected bottom-line
results, solid top-line growth, margin improvement, a
favorable 2013 outlook, notable return on equity and a reasonably
healthy financial position, are the major factors that drove the
shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company to a new high.
With respect to earnings surprises, Newell has topped the Zacks
Consensus Estimates for the past several years, with a trailing
four-quarter average surprise of 5.0%. At the same time, an
impressive return on equity compared to its peers acts as a
catalyst for the stock. It has a 12-month ROE of 24.9%, which is
above its peer group average of 21.9%.
In February, the company reported adjusted earnings of 43 cents
per share for the fourth quarter of 2012, marginally beating the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents and year-ago quarter
earnings of 40 cents. The earnings growth was a result of the
positive impact from pricing and productivity and lower
structural selling as well as general and administrative expenses
as a percentage of sales.
Net sales inched up 1.6% to $1,518.8 million, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,514.0 million.
Newell's quarterly gross profit marginally inched down 0.3% year
over year to $555.0 million, while gross margin contracted 70
basis points to 36.5% primarily due to increased investments
related to fourth-quarter events. Operating income increased
22.5% year over year to $153.8 million, while operating margin
expanded 170 basis points to 10.1%.
Concurrently, the company provided outlook for 2013. Management
anticipates core sales growth of 2%-4% and adjusted earnings in
the range of $1.78-$1.84 per share for 2013. Moreover, Newell
expects an improvement of 20 basis points in operating margin
The company expects to achieve its targeted annualized cost
savings of $270-$325 million by the second quarter of 2015
through its Project Renewal program. Moreover, Newell will be
saving costs between $90 million and $100 million through its
Project Renewal program in the first half of 2013.
Besides Newell, other stocks in the retail space that touched
all-time highs in the recent weeks are
The Clorox Company
Campbell Soup Company
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