Investing

4 Top Stocks to Buy on Earnings Beats and Raised Guidance

With the earnings season starting to wind down, some of the data look pretty solid. A new research note from Jefferies points out that of the 323 companies that have reported, 78% have beat earnings per shares estimates, and that comes in above the five-year average of 73%. If this rate continues, it would be the highest since the second quarter in 2010. The report also points out that while some guidance for the first half of this year was soft, the second half is expected to pick up and to include margin expansion.

The Jefferies team continues to track the companies’ earnings success, or lack thereof. We found four companies in the report that not only beat earnings estimates, but raised the forward guidance. Nothing is assured or for certain in the stock market, but this is the next best thing. Fittingly, one is in health care and three are technology stocks, the two leading sectors in 2014.

Cambrex Corp. (NYSE: CBM) is a life sciences company that provides products, services and technologies to accelerate the development and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics. The company offers active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), advanced intermediates and enhanced drug delivery products for branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Cambrex development and manufacturing capabilities include enzymatic biotransformations, high-potency APIs, high-energy chemical synthesis, controlled substances and formulation of finished dosage form products.

The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $27.50. The stock has blown through that number and closed trading on Monday at $29.48.

ALSO READ: Will Top Gold Stocks Blow Away 2015 and 2016 Earnings Estimates?

Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. (NYSE: FSL) gave the street a beat and a raise, and the stock gapped up nicely. The company is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity, 45% of the company’s business is generated through the automotive industry, making the connected car a huge earnings contributor. Some analysts feel that Wall Street still underappreciates the revenue growth and the huge sales effort in China, which looks like it is paying off big.

The consensus price objective for the stock is $34.88. Shares closed Monday at $32.80.

Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN) provides Intelligent Transport Networks for network operators, enabling reliable, easy to operate, high-capacity optical networks. Infinera leverages its unique large-scale photonic integrated circuits to deliver innovative optical networking solutions for the most demanding network environments. Intelligent Transport Networks enable carriers, cloud network operators, governments and enterprises to automate, converge and scale their data center, metro, long-haul and subsea optical networks.

The consensus price objective is $17.17. Shares ended the trading day Monday below that level at $16.89.

Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA) is considered one of the pioneers and leader of the human interface revolution, which provides innovative and intuitive user experiences to intelligent devices. Synaptics’ broad portfolio of touch, display and biometrics products is built on the company’s industry leading research and development and supply chain capabilities. With solutions designed for mobile, PC and the fast-growing automotive industries, Synaptics combines ease of use, functionality and aesthetics to enable products that help make our digital lives more productive and secure. The ClearPad family supports touchscreen solutions for devices ranging from entry-level mobile phones to flagship premium smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs.

The consensus price target is $92.15, well above the most recent share price of $76.40.

ALSO READ: 5 Analyst Stock Picks Under $10 With Massive Upside Projections

Again, while there are no guarantees, companies that beat estimates and raise forward guidance at least should have some support under the stock until the next reporting period. Plus, short-sellers would be reluctant to take on good earnings and guidance.