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SeaCube Container Leasing Limited (BOX): Zacks Rank Buy

Tracey Ryniec

The good times continue to roll for the container companies. SeaCube Container Leasing Limited (BOX) is expected to see double digit earnings growth in 2012. Yet this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) is still super cheap, with a forward P/E of only 6.7.

SeaCube is one of the largest container leasing companies in the world and offers long-term contracts to many of the big shipping lines. It owns or manages 594,071 units, equivalent to about 933,499 TEUs of containers and generator sets.

The containers consist of both refrigerated and dry containers. It has 7 offices worldwide.

SeaCube Beat By 16% in Q4

On Feb 29, SeaCube reported its fourth quarter and full year results and easily surprised on the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents. Earnings per share were 66 cents, up from 50 cents a year ago.

Revenue jumped 30% to $46.7 million from $35.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the year, revenue rose 23% to $169.5 million. However, much of the increase was due to a doubling of the company's container investments during the year.

Utilization rates remained sky high in the fourth quarter at 98.1%. For the full year, it averaged 98.3%.

2012 Outlook

The company is still bullish on the container market.

In the first 2 months of 2012, it spent $80.8 million on new containers, of which 88% were locked in to long term leases.

Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 Rises

Analysts still like what they're hearing. Within the last 30 days, the 2012 Zacks Consensus Estimate rose to $2.43 from $2.31 per share.

That is earnings growth of 11.1%. That's coming on top of 2011 earnings growth of 21.1%.

Dividend Raised

SeaCube pays a juicy dividend and it just got even juicier after the Board approved a 8.3% increase to 26 cents a share.

The dividend will be the 6th consecutive dividend and the third increase since the company went public in Nov 2010.

The dividend is currently yielding 6.4%.

Still Dirt Cheap

Even though shares have rebounded in 2012, SeaCube is still a cheap stock.

On top of a really low P/E of just 6.7, it has a price-to-book ratio of only 1.5. A P/B ratio under 3.0 usually indicates a company has value.

Additionally, SeaCube has an outstanding 1-year return on equity (:ROE) of 21.3%. That crushes its peers, which average just 7%.

If you're looking for a big dividend payer in the container space, SeaCube should be near the top of your list.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.

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