7 Stocks to Watch Today

by: Rash Menaria

Human Genome Science, Inc. (HGSI) is likely to gap up today after it received FDA approval for its lupus drug Benlysta. According to some sell side estimates, the drug can have $3 bn plus peak revenues. HGSI will split its profit with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), which was another partner in development of Benlysta. GSK ADRs were up 2-3% in after hours trading. Most of the sell side analysts have their price target for HGSI shares between $30 and $40, with one analyst even having a $45 price target. I believe one can buy the stock up to the low 30s to get a good medium term return.

Molycorp (MCP) shares were up in after hours trading yesterday after company reported better than expected 4Q10 revenues at $21.7 mm and adjusted EPS at 3 cents. MCP's stock price is not reflecting the recent surge in rare earth prices. The stock has largely traded sideways since its secondary offering in mid February, despite a 47% (adj. for MCP’s mix) increase in rare earth prices since then. Going forward, the stock is likely to outperform as investors become more aware of this recent surge and better understand its impact on MCP’s NPV.

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) reported Q3 revenues of $851 mn and adj. EPS of 14 cents, beating street estimates. The company also reported interim tax season to-date results with total tax returns prepared growing to 6%. The company continues to gain market share, both in retail as well as online segments. With initial signs of improving macros, particularly in the labor market, the company could see positive trends from here onwards. It makes sense to own it.

Men’s Wearhouse (MW) reported Q4 revenues of $542.1 million, topping consensus estimates of $537.40 million. Adj. Q4 loss of $0.19 per share was in line with consensus estimates. The business is expected to do well going forward as the favorable trend continues due to pent-up demand, improving stock market and extension of tax breaks, which have motivated the male shopper. However, most of these positives are already priced in the stock, hence there is likely to be limited upside after today’s gap up opening.

Semtech Corp. (NASDAQ:SMTC) reported revenues of 116.3 mn (vs. $113.8 mn consensus) and EPS of 47 cents (vs. 41 cents consensus). The company also guided for Q1 2012 sales $117-$121 mn (vs. est $114.4 mn) and Q1 2012 adj. EPS of $0.41-$0.44 (vs. est. $0.40). SMTC is attractive, valued at 12.5x on a NTM PE and is likely to see continued growth from solid demand for 40Gbps/100Gbps products. The stock is likely to outperform going forward.

Force Protection (NASDAQ:FRPT) reported revenues of $207.7 mn (vs. $206.7 mn consensus) and EPS of 16 cents (vs. 15 cents consensus). The stock is likely to open up today. However, one should use this opportunity to book profit as continued pressure on the DoD's budget and the ultimate troop withdrawal from Afghanistan are likely to cap upside for Force Protection’s shares.

Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ:CWTR) plummeted 12% yesterday in after hours trading. The company reported Q4 loss of 37 cents a share, which was much worse than analysts' expectations of a 26 cents loss. The stock remains a wait and watch story. This year is likely a transitional year for the company, given the extent of new hires and changes to merchandise, pricing, and selling strategy by channel. The summer line from the new design team is due in stores in April and it will give some more indications on where things are heading. Investors can remain on sidelines till then.

Disclosure: I am long HGSI.

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