What makes a stock worth to watch? It is strong earnings forecasts? A large market cap? Sure, these things can make it interesting but the actual numbers are what matters. Conjecture is just that and we all know about the danger of assumptions. With that in mind, here is a list of stocks that are near their 52-week highs and poised to go even higher. Each of these carry analyst rating of buy or better, have current ratios over 1 and market caps of at least $1B.
Our list starts with American Water Works Company (AWK), a water utilities company. It has a $5.41B market cap and a forward P/E ratio of 16.31. The company sports a current ratio of 1.07 and is rated a strong buy. To date, AWK has returned 32.54% so far this year and is forecasted to continue growing. Right now, the stock is trading at $31.07, less than half a percentage point away from topping its 52-week high. Its current one year target estimate is $33.93. John Osterweis’ Osterweis Capital Management had more than $94 million in AWK at the end of the second quarter. AWK’s closest competitor is Aqua America (WTR). AWK is larger than WTR’s $3.05B market cap and has higher revenue ($2.81B vs WTR’s $750M). It also has a lower P/E ratio than WTR’s 20.40.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG), the independent oil and gas company with an $8.39B market cap also made our list. It has a forward P/E ratio of 28.80 and a current ratio of 1.07. So far this year, COG has returned 112.65% and analysts think the stock will still go higher, recommending it as a buy. It recently traded at $87.40, topping its 52-week high by 1.85%. Analysts have given the stock a one year estimate of $93.09. Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company had over $103 million invested in COG at the end of the second quarter. One of its closest competitors is Nexen Inc (NXY). NXN has a lower forward P/E ratio at 7.50 and a slightly higher market cap at $8.79B but it has also lost 26.77% YTD and is recommended by analysts as a hold.
COG is followed by Constellation Energy Group (CEG). CEG is an electric utilities company with a $8.05B market cap and a forward P/E ratio of 16.29. It has a current ratio of 1.57 and has returned 34.13% YTD. Right now, it is trading at $40.35, less than a percentage point away from besting its 52-week high of $40.71. Analysts rate CEG as a buy and give it a one year target estimate of $42.50. Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management had almost $94 million in the company at the end of the second quarter.Its closest competitor is American Electric Power Co (AEP). AEP is much larger at $18.78B but it has roughly the same earnings as CEG ($15.11B vs. CEG’s $13.93B).
The last company on our list is Generac Holdings (GNRC). The electronic equipment company has a $1.68B market cap and has a forward P/E ratio of 11.91. GNRC has a current ratio of 3.64 and has returned 53.93% YTD. It is currently trading at $24.95, just under its 52-week high of $25.42. Analysts say the stock could go as high as $28 a share in the next year. D.E. Shaw’s D E Shaw had over $810,000 in the company at the end of June after increasing its position in the company by 74% in the second quarter. GNRC’s closest competitor is Harman International Industries (HAR). HAR is slightly larger at $2.86B, but it has lost 11.44% YTD.