On Dec 14, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Sealed Air Corporation
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), as its estimates have been
trending upward after the company reported strong third quarter
fiscal 2014 results and raised its fiscal 2013 outlook on Oct 30.
CLEARWATER PAPR (CLW): Free Stock Analysis
PACKAGING CORP (PKG): Free Stock Analysis
SEALED AIR CORP (SEE): Free Stock Analysis
UFP TECH INC (UFPT): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
Sealed Air's third-quarter adjusted net earnings improved 39%
year over year to 39 cents, helped by higher volumes and a
positive price/mix. The results beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 34 cents per share. In fact, the company has outpaced the
consensus estimate in three out of four times, missing it on one
occasion. Thus, the average surprise over the last four quarters
Sealed Air raised its guidance for fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings
per share to the range $1.25 to $1.30 from $1.10 to $1.20. Net
sales guidance was changed to $7.7 billion as against prior range
of $7.7 to $7.9 billion.
Sealed Air's Integration & Optimization Program will generate
cost savings and benefits of approximately $195 million to $200
million by the end of 2014. The company is expected to realize
$90 million of benefits in 2013, of which approximately $71
million has been realized in the first three quarters of 2013.
Sealed Air has also announced an additional restructuring plan
with projected annualized savings of $80 million by 2015.
Sealed Air will benefit from its 4-9% price increase, which was
effective from Nov 1, for most products in its Food Care and
Product Care divisions in North America. The price hike is in
response to rising polyethylene costs and it may boost the 2014
results if successful.
Sealed Air has agreed to sell its rigid medical packaging
business to Milwaukee-based private equity firm Mason Wells for
$125 million, as it is no longer considered to be a strategic fit
for the company. The proceeds are likely to be utilized to pay
back debt and thus reduce interest expense, and thereby
contributing to margins.
Earnings estimates have been trending higher over the past 60
days on account of its raised fiscal 2013 forecast. The Zacks
Consensus Estimate increased 8% to $1.29 per share for fiscal
2013, while it advanced 5% to $1.54 per share for fiscal 2013
over the same timeframe.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other stocks worth considering in the sector include
Clearwater Paper Corporation
Packaging Corporation of America
UFP Technologies, Inc.
). While Clearwater holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Packaging
Corporation and UFP Technologies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).