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3 Strong Performers to Consider

GuruFocus.com
·5 mins read

Shares of Ball Corp (NYSE:BLL), Leidos Holdings Inc (NYSE:LDOS) and Casey's General Stores Inc (NASDAQ:CASY) performed strongly over the past several years, topping the S&P 500 by wide margins.

GuruFocus has given these companies high profitability ratings. High profitability has helped push the share prices higher over the observed periods. Should the profitability of these companies remain strong also in the years ahead, shareholders may experience even larger rewards.


Additionally, Wall Street sell-side analysts have released positive recommendation ratings for these stocks.

Ball Corp

Shares of Ball Corp have gained 10.3% over the last 12 months, 55.6% over the past two years and 71% over the past three years through March 12, outperforming the S&P 500 by 12.3%, 56% and 55.2%, respectively.

The Broomfield, Colorado-based supplier of aluminum packaging products to several industries has also paid quarterly dividends over the last three years. On March 16, the company will pay 15 cents per common share, which, based on the share price of $63.18 at close on Thursday, yields 0.95% for the trailing 12-month dividend and for the forward dividend.

Ball Corp has an operating margin of 10.25% versus the industry median of 6.57% and a net margin of 4.93% versus the industry median of 3.59%. Further, the company has a return on equity of 16.87% while the industry median yields 7.01%.

The stock has a market capitalization of $20.58 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 37.83, a price-sales ratio of 1.87 and a price-book ratio of 7.01. These ratios, along with the Peter Lynch chart, indicate that the stock is not cheap.

Wall Street sell-side analysts issued an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $84.33 per share.

Leidos Holdings

Shares of Leidos Holdings Inc have gained 37% over the last 52 weeks, 26.7% over the past two years and 59% over the past three years through March 12, topping the S&P 500 by 38.8%, 27.1% and 43.2%, respectively.

The Reston, Virginia-based global information technology services provider has also paid quarterly dividends over the observed period. On April 2, the company will pay 34 cents per common share to shareholders of record as of March 16. Based on the share price of $85.46 at close on March 12, the payment yields 1.54% for the trailing 12-month dividend and yields 1.59% for the forward dividend.

Leidos Holdings has an operating margin of 7.32% versus the industry median of 4.55% and a net margin of 6.25% compared to the industry median of 2.62%. Also, the company has a return on equity of 20.23% while the industry median yields 5.18%.

The stock has a market capitalization of $12.13 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 18.69, a price-sales ratio of 1.11 and a price-book ratio of 3.57. These ratios, together with the below Peter Lynch chart, suggest that this stock is not cheap.

Wall Street sell-side analysts issued an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $119.40 per share.

Casey's General Stores

Shares of Casey's General Stores Inc have gained 14.1% over the last 12 months, 31% over the past two years and 27% over the past three years through March 12, outperforming the S&P 500 by 16.1%, 31.4% and 11.2%, respectively.

The Ankeny, Iowa-based operator of grocery stores has also paid quarterly dividends over the past three years months. On May 15, the company will pay 32 cents per common share. Based on the share price of $145.64 at close on March 12, the quarterly payment produces a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 0.86% and a forward dividend yield of 0.88%.

Casey's General Stores has an operating margin of 3.63% versus the industry median of 2.62% and a net margin of 2.38% versus the industry median of 1.51%. Moreover, the company has a return on equity of 15.25% versus the industry median of 6.43%.

The stock has a market capitalization of $5.36 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 23.83, a price-sales ratio of 0.56 and a price-book ratio of 3.39. Based on these ratios this stock seems expensive. The Peter Lynch chart also indicates that shares are overpriced.

Wall Street sell-side analysts issued an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $179.90 per share.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any securities mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.