Tuesday Winners: Worthington Industries, Smithfield Foods and Alimera Sciences

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Among the biggest winners in Tuesday's early trading are Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR ) , Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD ) and Alimera Sciences (Nasdaq: ALIM ) .

Top Percentage Gainers -- Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Company Name (Ticker) Intra-Day Price Intra-Day
% Gain
52-Week High 52-Week Low
Alimera Sciences
(Nasdaq: ALIM )
$8.51 +5.4% $11.30 $7.76
Smithfield Foods
(NYSE: SFD )
$15.52 +4.3% $21.48 $11.36
Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR ) $13.52 +3.4% $17.97 $10.70

*Table includes companies with minimum market capitalizations of $200 million and three month trading volumes of at least 100,000 shares. All percentage returns are listed as of 11:30AM Eastern Standard Time . Click on ticker symbols for up-to-the-minute price quotes and percentage gain data.


Bad News for Worthington, Good News for Investors

If there is a silver lining to a horrendous trading environment that we are seeing in Tuesday trading, it is that companies with clearly good news to report can get lost in the shuffle. As a result, investors have time to pounce, as these shares almost always head higher once the market stabilizes. Shares of Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR ) are up a modest +3.4% on a day when the major indices are posting one of their worst one-day drops for the year.

Worthington processes steel into finer grades, and also operates a pressure pump division. Both divisions are faring better than analysts had expected, leading the company to exceed the fiscal fourth quarter $0.28 EPS estimate by 50%. Revenue was nearly +20% higher than analysts had expected.

Many have grumbled that the profit rebound has been largely characterized by cost cuts rather than organic growth. But that's just not the case. Worthington's +33% year-over-year revenue jump in the fourth quarter is a sign that a broad-based industrial rebound is underway.

For the full-year, Worthington's sales fell -26%, but should rise by at least that percentage in the current fiscal year . More important, many costs have been taken out of the business, which should lead to EPS north of $1.50 by (fiscal) 2011. (The current consensus, which now appears too low, calls for per share profits of $1.26 next year.)

Action to Take --> Despite today's modest pop, shares trade for about nine times next year's profits. Investors shouldn't expect a sharp expansion in the earnings multiple, but look for the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) to rise to 12 times next year's earnings, implying +30% upside.

------------------------------------

Alimera Moves into the FDA Spotlight

Shares of Alimera Sciences (Nasdaq: ALIM ) are bucking a down market on Tuesday, rising +5%. The biotech company has submitted a widely-anticipated application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) for its treatment for sufferers of macular degeneration -- a debilitating condition that leads diabetes patients to lose their vision. Alimera's Iluvien is an injectable tube that provides localized steroids that keep the eye healthy.

Early this month, we looked at recent IPOs that were trading below their offering price, and highlighted Alimera as a very attractive "broken IPO ." At the time, we wrote that "clinical data has been strong and analysts expect the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) to approve Iluvien by the end of the year." That timeline is still intact.

We added that the company could soon see EPS rise to $2 if Iluvien saw the demand that some expect. Shares trade for about 4.5 times that forecast.

Action to Take --> The FDA is expected to give the device fast-track status in the third quarter. This broken IPO should soon be "unbroken," and looks like a nice buy while it toils in anonymity. pSivida (Nasdaq: PSDV ) , a much smaller biotech firm that owns the technology and licenses it to Alimera, is also up sharply on Tuesday.

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The Brazilians are Coming, the Brazilians are Coming

Shares of Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD ) are up more than +4% in Tuesday trading on rumors that Brazil's JBS is looking to acquire the pork, poultry and beef processor. JBS had already acquired a Smithfield division back in 2008, and has also been snapping up other U.S. assets such as meat-packer Swift.

The timing would be fortuitous for JBS. Shares of Smithfield have cooled from $21 to $15 during the last few months as farmers have stepped up the size of their herds to take advantage of firming prices. Larger herds tend to eventually deflate prices as the glut of animals is put up for auction.

The meat and poultry industry has rapidly globalized during the last ten years, representing the fastest-growing source of exports for countries such as Brazil. By controlling herds on several continents, firms like JBS can better manage seasonal demands and occasional droughts.

Action to Take --> If this buyout rumor is legitimate, then JBS would likely need to pay at least $22 or $23 a share for Smithfield, or just above the 52-week high. Accepting an offer any lower than that would lead investors to grumble that the board sold the company too cheaply.





-- David Sterman
Staff Writer
StreetAuthority

Disclosure: Neither StreetAuthority, LLC nor the David Sterman hold positions in any securities mentioned in this report.

StreetAuthority


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ALIM , FDA , PSDV , SFD , WOR

David Sterman

David Sterman

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