NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- These four stocks were upgraded to buy from TheStreet Ratings on Friday: L-3 Communications, Kimco Realty, Ingersoll-Rand and CBRE Group.
The intelligence and surveillance company raised its quarterly dividend on Tuesday to 50 cents a share from 45 cents. "Once repositioning actions are taken, L-3's operating profile will have firmer growth potential due to much reduced overseas punitive operations," Drexel Hamilton analyst Richard Whittington wrote in a report Monday.
L-3 was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings.
L-3 has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 8.32; the average for defense companies is 13.16. For comparison, Curtiss-Wright and AeroVironment both have higher forward P/Es of 13.12 and 21.32, respectively.
Twelve of the 17 analysts who cover L-3 rated it a hold. Two analysts considered L-3 a buy and three gave it a sell rating.
TheStreet Ratings gives L-3 a B grade with a $81.68 price target. The stock closed Thursday at $70.47 and has risen 5.68% year to date.
The industrial and commercial products company reported Wednesday fourth-quarter earnings of $242.2 million, or 76 cents a share, an increase from year-earlier earnings of $212.1 million, or 62 cents.
"In our view, the company set expectations relatively low heading into the next year after underperformance through '11," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report on Thursday. "In particular, we think IR is more conservative than its peers on NA non-residential construction and truck sectors, as well as global industrial capex, which creates room for positive surprises in '12."
Ingersoll-Rand was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings.
The company has a forward P/E of 10.38.
Analysts were split on Ingersoll-Rand with 11 rating it a hold and another 11 giving it a buy rating. One analyst ranked Ingersoll-Rand a sell.
Ingersoll-Rand gets a B grade from TheStreet Ratings with a $43.88 price target. The stock closed Thursday at $37.93 and has increased 24.48% year to date.
The real estate investment trust reported Wednesday fourth-quarter earnings of $31.6 million, or 8 cents a share, an increase from year-earlier earnings of $22.2 million, or 2 cents a share.
Kimco Realty was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings.
The company has a forward P/E of 53.29; the average for retail REITs is 57.58. For comparison, Realty Income has a lower forward P/E of 34.48 and Macerich has a forward P/E of 54.44.
Twelve of the 21 analysts who cover Kimco Realty rated it a hold. Eight analysts gave the company a buy rating and one rated it a sell.
TheStreet Ratings gives Kimco Realty a B grade and $21.78 price target. The stock closed Thursday at $18.65 and has risen 14.84% year to date.
The commercial real estate company reported Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings of $79.8 million, or 25 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $95.1 million, or 30 cents.
"We would be buyers on a significant pullback in the stock following a quarter we believe most investors will view as underwhelming," William Blair analysts wrote in a report Feb. 8. "We continue to like CBRE's market positions and the potential for solid margin expansion as the commercial real estate cycle continues."
CBRE Group was upgraded to a buy from a hold by TheStreet Ratings.
The company has a forward P/E of 12; the average for real estate services companies is 54.6. For comparison, Jones Lang Lasalle and Move both have higher forward P/Es of 13.34 and 16.13, respectively.
Six of the seven analysts who cover CBRE Group rated it a buy. One analyst gave the stock a sell rating.
CBRE Group gets a B- grade from TheStreet Ratings and a $20.91 price target. The stock closed Thursday at $18.33 and has increased 20.43% year to date.
-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian
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