Investing

Analyst Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs That Are Still a Buy Now

Seemingly every day the stock market is hitting fresh 52-week highs, and while that is great news for investors, there is always the lurking fear about what to do with new capital or profits from older trades or investments. Some of the top firms on Wall Street are starting to move Buy ratings to Hold simply on price and valuations. A new research report from Jefferies tracks 30 stocks that the firm covers in the S&P 500 Index touching or very close to 52-week highs that have posted positive earnings per share revisions.

We screened the Jefferies list for stocks that the analysts still have rated Buy. It makes sense for investors to buy stocks with positive earnings revisions, as earnings growth is one metric that can keep support under a stock, especially one trading near a 52 week high.

Here are five top stocks to Buy at Jefferies that make good sense for more aggressive investors looking to put money to work now.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) makes the list, and it trades at just touch over 13 times 2015 estimated earnings. The company is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people while offering a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities.

Aetna investors are paid a 1.0% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $107, and the Thomson/First Call estimate is at $104.11. Aetna closed Tuesday at $100.17 a share.

ALSO READ: Top UBS Health Care Stocks to Buy for 2015 and Beyond

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) is a stock rated Buy at Jefferies, and numerous Wall Street analysts are very positive on the prospects for growth in communications driven by wireless base stations and TD deployments in China. There also seems to be a general consensus the U.S. economy will also see recovery in the industrial sector and growth in the automobile markets over the rest of 2015, both of which would benefit the company.

Analog Devices investors are treated to a very competitive 2.7% dividend. Jefferies has a $68 price target, but the consensus price target is set at $61.52. The stock closed Wednesday at $59.61.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is a top consumer media company with multiple streams of income to push revenue. Wall Street analysts see the stock outperforming on a near-term basis. With the movie studio business poised to improve, as with accelerating theme park business in which the company just announced an increase in ticket prices, the network programming continues to drive viewership with extensive sports programming on ESPN. Combining that revenue growth with the company’s solid media networks and interactive presence, prospects for the rest of the year look outstanding.

Disney shareholders are paid a 1.1% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $105. The consensus target is lower at $105.12. Shares closed Tuesday at $104.67.

ALSO READ: Top Merrill Lynch Dividend Yield Stocks to Buy

Intercontinental Exchange Group Inc. (NYSE: ICE) makes the Jefferies list and is expected to have earnings growth in the 2014 to 2016 period of a very solid 21.3%. The company boasts the leading network of regulated exchanges and clearinghouses for financial and commodity markets. The company delivers transparent, reliable and accessible data, technology and risk management services to markets around the world through its portfolio of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, ICE Futures, Liffe and Euronext.

Intercontinental Exchange investors are paid a small 1.1% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $250, and the consensus target is $251. Shares closed Tuesday at $235.53.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) had a very up and down year in 2014, but this year everything looks full speed ahead for the natural foods grocery leader. In fiscal year 2014, the company had sales of approximately $14 billion, and currently it has 409 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Solid consumer demand and new market opportunities are helping to put the growth trajectory back in the stock.

Whole Foods investors are paid a small 0.9% dividend. The Jefferies price objective is posted at $56, and the consensus target is $53.58. Shares closed Tuesday at $56.68.

ALSO READ: 5 Well-Known Technology Buyout Candidates

Buying stock at the top is always daunting for investors. Choosing stocks with earnings that are expected to go higher at least levels the playing field some, and it makes the chances for success greater.

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