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Sealed Air Corp (SEE), Mylan Inc. (MYL), Dell Inc. (DELL): Today’s Best Stocks

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It’s finally Friday, and the S&P 500 is trying its hardest to find a reason to be happy. The index has spent all day climbing out of the hole that this morning’s underwhelming jobs report dug for it, and finally crawled into positive territory near the close Michael Dellwith a gain of 2.8 points, or 0.2%. We’re still over 1,700 points, and it’s thanks, in part, to the day’s best performers. Let’s take a look at why the three top-performing S&P 500 stocks of the day put together their gains.

Sealed Air Corp (NYSE:SEE) couldn’t compress its gains today — the hygiene-solutions company was today’s top S&P stock, with a 9% pop after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Sealed Air Corp (NYSE:SEE)’s revenue was a bit light, gaining only 2% year over year, to $1.96 billion, against Wall Street’s $1.97 consensus, but adjusted earnings of $0.35 per share trounced the Street’s $0.25 consensus. Guidance of $7.7 billion to $7.9 billion for the full fiscal year comes in even with the Street’s $7.8 billion projection, and EPS guidance in the $1.10 to $1.20 range also hits the $1.16 consensus at the middle of its range.

Sealed Air Corp (NYSE:SEE)r’s earnings beat today prompted Morningstar’s analysts to put the stock “under review,” which is expected to raise their price target from $23 per share. Today’s buyers had better hope that it’s a significant increase, because that target is about 25% below today’s closing price.

Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) was the silver medalist in today’s S&P race, finishing with a 7.1% gain as investors continue to digest the generic drugmaker’s Thursday-morning earnings report. Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) took the unusual step of detailing five-year guidance yesterday afternoon, projecting 13% revenue growth per year until 2018, by which point it expects to be earning $6.00 per share. Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) is just as bullish on shorter time lines, projecting an EPS range of $2.75 to $2.95 for 2013, and a 19% improvement (from the low end of that range) in 2014, to $3.39 in EPS.

This is a gutsy prediction, as Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) is telling investors that they should expect EPS to grow by nearly 120% over the next five years. That might not be as gutsy as you think, though — out of a grab bag of major drugmakers, Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) comes in second in its trailing five-year EPS growth (and that might well improve to first place once we get updated data):

PFE EPS Diluted TTM Chart

PFE EPS Diluted TTM data by YCharts

A number of hugely profitable drugs are set to go generic over the next five years, which Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) is doubtless counting on to push this prophecy toward fulfillment. It’s definitely worth keeping your eye on, even if the company doesn’t pay dividends at the moment.

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