Worried About Summer Weakness? These 5 Mid Caps Offer Upside

by: Todd Campbell

If you're unwilling to sit on the sidelines through summer, you may find these 5 mid cap stocks offer upside despite sell-in-May inspired doldrums.

Each has a strong track record of rewarding investors through August and each has catalysts which could help move them higher again this year.

Source: Seasonal Investor Database

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN)

I've written previously about Alexion's life changing drug Soliris. Soliris is approved for two ultra rare indications affecting just a few thousand patients. However, the drugs $400,000 a year price tag continues to fuel significant sales and profit growth. Sales should continue to climb as the drug's label is expanded. I covered this more in Expanding Use of Alexion's Specialty Drug Soliris Offers Upside, but the drug has potential to gain approval for hemolytic uremic syndrome ("HUS") in the next year or two following approval for the rarer atypical-HUS last year. In the meantime, sales growth will come from longer living patients and geographic expansion into new markets.

Casey's General Store (NASDAQ:CASY)

A move a few years ago to boost ready-to-eat meals has boosted profits for this convenience store operator. Sales of prepared foods grew 15.4% to $137 million last quarter, generating margins of 60.6%. Sales of prepared foods will benefit this summer given pizza delivery was added to 50 more locations last quarter. Another 50 stores will get delivery this quarter too. The high margin pizza business helps offset its low margin gasoline sales. Those gas sales are likely to trend up at its 1731 stores thanks to summer vacation travel. Year-to-date, Casey's fuel margins are $0.146 per gallon - ahead of company forecasts. Those margins offer upside as 4.4% more gallons were sold last quarter. And while cigarette sales have been sluggish, non-cigarette sales were up 5.3% across its grocery and general merchandise category. As a result, combined sales grew 6% and margins were 31.7% in the quarter. Sales growth should continue given Casey's expects to open 30 new stores this year and has another 50 sites under contract.

Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT)

Shares in Camden made 52 week highs in May before a sell-off in dividend paying stocks and bonds last month. The multi-family REIT has been riding a wave of rising occupancy and effective rents since the recession. Vacancy fell 20 bps to 4.3% nationwide in Q1, according to researcher REIS Inc. (NASDAQ:REIS). That's a long way from the 8% reading back in 2009. Higher demand has given operators pricing power, which has led to a string of increases in effective rent, including a 0.5% lift in Q1. And, investors hope historically low rates - despite risks of moving higher - will provide cheap funding for new communities. The industry is expected to see 150,000 units come online this year. Camden's 64,835 apartments are located across the mid Atlantic, the South and California markets and shares yield 3.7%.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT)

Tanger's customers love a bargain. The company's 43 centers across 26 states are home to large, publicly traded brand-name tenants like Gap (NYSE:GPS), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Coach (COH) and Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL). Since its IPO in 1993, Tanger's top shelf tenants have insulated Tanger from typical mall turnover, allowing Tanger to finish every year with occupancy rates greater than 95%. And the market for outlet centers continues to grow. The company completed centers in both AZ and TX late last year and is developing a new outlet center in Washington DC. Another 4 sites are in pre-development. Tanger is also taking its outlet approach north to Canada through a joint venture. The venture hopes to open 10 centers over the coming 7 years. Foot traffic at the centers should improve with warm weather and into the back-to-school shopping season and investors can take comfort in knowing 66% of its credit line remains available and the majority of its debt is fixed rate. As for financials, Tanger estimates funds from operations ("FFO") will reach $177.4 million this year, up from $141.3 million in 2011. That provides plenty of opportunity for dividends, which have increased every year since its IPO.

Teledyne (NYSE:TDY)

Investors are hoping Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus orders will take off next week at the bi-annual Paris Air Show. The two companies generated over $100 billion in orders for over 1,000 aircraft at the 2011 show. The high profile event runs from June 17th through June 23rd and there's bound to be plenty of news worthy announcements for suppliers. However, even without a big showing in Paris, suppliers like Teledyne have plenty to cheer about in the form of current business. Boeing just announced it's taking its long term forecast higher, expecting operators will need 35,280 new jets worth $4.8 trillion over the coming 20 years. That beats its prior forecast by 3.8% and represents a doubling of the current fleet. Demand from aerospace helped Teledyne's Q1 sales climb 15.3% from last year to a record $569.4 million, generating a record $1.07 in earnings per share. But it's not just aerospace lifting Teledyne's results. The company's sales into energy markets accounts for just shy of 20% of sales. Increased offshore oil and gas exploration and production activity has boosted revenue from Teledyne's instrumentation segment to 35% of total revenue. And the company's sales growth is being leveraged for profit upside. Tight cost controls and a shifting mix has helped gross margin increase to 35% from 25% since 2002. As a result, earnings per share are up a compounded 31.7% annually since 2001. Importantly, orders in the quarter outpaced sales by 10%, suggesting plenty of tailwinds.

These 5 ideas all have catalysts, but it's impossible to know if they'll follow through and head higher. However, strong seasonal tendencies and opportunity for growth suggests each should be on your watch list this summer.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in ALXN over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.