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The immense uncertainty currently surrounding the stock market and the US economic outlook has seen many investors seeking earnings and growth stability. By investing in large cap stocks that are well positioned for growth due to their size, investors can enjoy international exposure and relative stock price stability. This article will analyze five large cap stocks with market capitalizations greater than $5 billion. Specifically, these stocks have recently hit new one month highs. I will determine if they will continue to grow in value and deliver strong investor returns.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW)

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc has a market cap of $11.64 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 28.16. Its 52 week trading range is $62.30 to $82.61. At the time of writing, it is trading at around $70.00. It reported second quarter earnings 2011 of $2.71 billion, an increase from first quarter earnings of $2.37 billion. Second quarter net income was $111.02 million, a substantial increase from first quarter net income of $97.03 million. It has quarterly revenue growth of 10.30%, a return on equity of 34.58% and pays a dividend with a yield of 1.70%.

One of C.H. Robinson’s closest competitors is Expeditors International of Washington Inc (EXPD). Expeditors International is trading at around $47.00 and has a market cap of $10.01 billion. It has a price to earnings ratio of 26.98, quarterly revenue growth of 4.30% and a return on equity of 21.56%. It pays a dividend with a yield of 1.10%. Based on these key performance indicators, it is being outperformed by C.H. Robinson.

C.H. Robinson’s second quarter 2011 balance sheet showed cash of $383 million, an increase from first quarter cash of $316 million. It had net tangible assets in the second quarter of $893.08 million, an increase from first quarter net tangible assets of $834.01 million. Its quarterly revenue growth of 10.30%, versus an industry average of 4.50%, and a return on equity of 34.58% versus an industry average of 22.00%, shows that it is outperforming the majority of its peers.

The earnings outlook for the Air Delivery and Freight Service industry is poor. This can be attributed to the poor economic climate, reduced demand and rising costs. The International Air Transport Association [IATA] recently stated that the demand for air freight has stagnated since the start of 2011, and it slashed its full year volume growth projection from 5.5% to 1.4%. It also believes that it is unlikely that a revival in air freight will begin in 2012.

When the poor industry earnings outlook is considered in conjunction with the decrease in cash, C.H. Robinson does not appear to be a good investment. However, when the company’s solid performance indicators are considered in conjunction with increased earnings, the company has solid growth prospects. Accordingly, I rate C.H. Robinson as a buy.

Southern Company (SO)

Southern Company has a market cap of $37.14 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 18.42. For a 52 week period, its trading range has been $35.73 to $43.95. It is currently trading at around $43.50. The company reported second quarter earnings for 2011 as $4.52 billion, an increase from first quarter earnings of $4.01 billion. Second quarter net income was $620 million, an increase from first quarter net income of $438 million. It has quarterly revenue growth of 7.40%, and a return on equity of 11.51%. It currently pays a dividend with a yield of 4.30%.

One of Southern Company’s closest competitors is NextEra Energy Inc (NEE). NextEra Energy currently trades at around $57.00 and has a market cap of $24.09 billion. It has quarterly revenue growth of 10.30%, a return on equity of 12.89% and pays a dividend with a yield of 3.80%. Based on these performance indicators it is outperforming Southern Company.

Southern Company’s cash position has improved, its third quarter 2011 balance sheet showed $383 million in cash, an increase from $316 million in the second quarter. Its quarterly revenue growth of 7.40% is less than the industry average of 9.90%, and its return on equity of 11.51% is greater than an industry average of 7.10%. Based on these performance indicators, it is performing on par with many of its peers.

The earnings outlook for the Electric Utilities industry has been forecast as stable because the demand for energy is relatively inelastic and this is combined with low prices, abundant supplies of natural gas and power, and low interest rates. When is considered in conjunction with Southern Company’s increase in earnings and cash holdings, it indicates the company is well positioned for growth. However, I believe there are better investment opportunities in the industry such as NextEra Energy and rate the company as a hold.

CSX Corporation (CSX)

CSX Corporation has a market cap of $24.89 billion with a price to earnings ratio of 14.23. For a 52 week period its trading range has been $17.69 to $27.06. It is currently trading at around $23.00. The company reported second quarter earnings 2011 as $3.02 billion, an increase from first quarter earnings of $2.81 billion. Second quarter net income was $506 million, an increase from first quarter net income of $395 million. The company is achieving quarterly revenue growth of 11.10%, a return on equity of 21.24%, and pays a dividend with a yield of 2.10%.

One of CSX’s closest competitors is Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC). Norfolk Southern is currently trading at around $75.00. It has a market cap of $26.08 billion, with a price to earnings ratio of 15.84. It has quarterly revenue growth of 17.90%, a return on equity of 16.17%, and pays a dividend with a yield of 2.30%. Based on these performance indicators it is marginally outperforming CSX Corporation.

CSX’s cash position has declined, its third quarter 2011 balance sheet showed $641 million in cash, a decrease from $1.29 billion in the second quarter. CSX’s quarterly revenue growth of 11.10%, versus the industry average of 8.10%, and a return on equity of 21.24%, versus an industry average of 14.20%, indicates that the company is outperforming many of its peers.

The earnings outlook for the Railroad industry is positive despite the poor economic conditions and negative consumer sentiment. Overall, the Railroad industry has maintained earnings despite an extremely volatile US economy. This can be attributed to the solid demand for coal and improved efficiencies. The industry is also benefiting from the significant rise in the cost base of the Trucking industry. Overall, this combination of trends is helping the railroads carry more cargo, which is helping them to smooth out the current economic uncertainties.

The positive industry outlook combined with CSX Corporation’s strong performance indicators and earnings growth indicates that the outlook for the company is positive. I rate CSX Corporation as a buy.

SAP AG ADS (SAP)

SAP AG ADS has a market cap of $74.40 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 27.39. Its 52 week trading range has been $61.95 to $62.71. It is currently trading at around $63.00. It reported second quarter 2011 earnings of $4.78 billion, an increase from first quarter earnings of $4.29 billion. Second quarter net income was $851 million, a substantial increase from first quarter net income of $572 million. SAP has quarterly revenue growth of 14.00%, a return on equity of 20.31%, and pays a dividend with a yield of 1.00%.

One of SAP’s closest competitors is Oracle Corporation (ORCL). Oracle currently trades at around $33.00 and has a market cap of $169.95 billion. It has a price to earnings ratio of 19.16, quarterly revenue growth of 11.60% and a return on equity of 24.50%. It currently pays a dividend with a yield of 0.70%. Based on these performance indicators it is underperforming SAP.

SAP’s cash position has improved, the second quarter balance sheet showed $5.57 billion in cash, a substantial decrease from $6.35 billion for the first quarter. SAP’s quarterly revenue growth rate of 14.00% is less than the industry average of 21.90%, and its return on equity of 20.31%, is less than the industry average of 24.90%. This indicates that it is underperforming many of its peers.

The earnings growth outlook for the Software Industry is positive, despite the current poor global economic outlook and negative consumer sentiment. Forrester Research believes the global software industry will continue to grow in 2012 despite the decrease in projected growth for the computer hardware industry.

Based on the solid performance indicators combined with the increase in earnings, I believe the company is well positioned to capitalize on its size, as it is the third largest industry participant by market cap, and strong brand. Accordingly I rate SAP as a buy.

Credicorp Ltd (BAP)

Credicorp Ltd has a market cap of $8.81 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 13.92. Its 52 week trading range is $80.79 to $128.70. It is currently trading at around $111.00. It reported second quarter earnings 2011 of $666.39 million, a decrease from first quarter earnings of $790.27 million. Second quarter net income was $174.17 million, a decrease from first quarter net income of $175.02 million. Credicorp has quarterly revenue growth of 11.30%, a return on equity of 23.16%, and pays a dividend with a yield of 1.80%.

One of Credicorp’s closest competitors is Banco Santander S.A (STD). Banco Santander currently trades at around $9.00 and has a market cap of $56.46 billion. It has a price to earnings ratio of 7.92, quarterly revenue growth of 3.80% and a return on equity of 10.37%. Banco Santander pays a dividend with a yield of 6.50%. Based on these key performance indicators Credicorp is outperforming Banco Santander, although its dividend yield is substantially lower.

Credicorp’s second quarter 2011 balance sheet showed cash of $5.55 billion, a decrease from first quarter cash of $7.16 billion. Credicorp’s quarterly revenue growth of 11.30%, versus an industry average of 39.30%, and a return on equity of 23.16%, versus an industry average of 7.80%, indicates that it is has weaker growth prospects than many of its peers but stronger management.

The earnings potential of companies generating revenue from the banking sector remains poor in the short term due to tight credit markets and the poor economic climate. However, it appears that many South American Banks have weathered the Global Financial Crisis [GFC] and the poor global economy far better than many other global banks. This can be partly attributed to the lack of maturity in the banking and finance industry in South America, which saw many banks avoid substantial exposure to investments in collateralized debt instruments and have a reduced exposure to poor quality loans.

Credicorp has produced strong earnings in what remains a difficult operating environment for banks, and when this is coupled with solid performance indicators, the outlook for the company is good. However, the substantial reduction in balance sheet cash in the second quarter is of some concern, but I still rate Credicorp as a buy.

Source: 5 Soaring Stocks That Recently Hit New Highs