AptarGroup Hits 52-Week High

Zacks

Shares of AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR) reached a new 52-week high of $67.10 on Dec 27, surpassing the previous high of $56.93 based on expected benefits from its cost containment strategies.

Crystal Lake, Ill.-based AptarGroup is a supplier of innovative dispensing systems with a market cap of roughly $4.39 billion. The company’s shares closed at $66.72 at the end of trading on Dec 27, with a solid year-to-date return of about 42.3% and a robust one-year return of roughly 42%, outperforming the S&P 500.  

The company’s long-term estimated earnings per share growth rate is 9.3%. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 203K.

Growth Drivers

AptarGroup reported adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share, up 6% year over year on Oct 30. Earnings were at the upper end of management’s guidance range of 68 cents to 73 cents per share. The results however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Total revenue rose 6% year over year to a record $624 million, yet missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $629 million. Core sales increased 4% excluding currency effects. Changes in currency exchange rates accounted for 2% of the sales growth in the quarter.

AptarGroup expects earnings in the range of 62 cents to 67 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company remains optimistic about the long-term growth based on investments in Aptar Stelmi and a strong balance sheet position.

In the reported quarter, AptarGroup incurred around $2.7 million in expenses on its European optimization plan. The company expects additional costs in the fourth quarter, most of which will be incurred in 2013. Annual savings of roughly $12 million are anticipated from the plan.

AptarGroup carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks in the same industry are Packaging Corporation of America (PKG), Sealed Air Corporation (SEE) and UFP Technologies, Inc. (UFPT). While Packaging Corporation and Sealed Air carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), UFP Technologies holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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