The markets moved up sharply on Thursday after the Bank of England surprisingly left interest rates unchanged. The continuing rally in oil prices and impressive earnings reports from several corporate giants also added positivity to the overall market sentiment, which led several important stocks to hit their 52-week highs.
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), Kellogg Company (NYSE:K), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON), Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (NYSE:ETH), and Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) were ten of the stocks achieving that milestone yesterday. Let’s check out the trading activity on these stocks and see how hedge funds have been trading some of them of late as well.
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Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) rose to its 52-week high of $90.60 following the announcement of its financial results for the second quarter of 2016. The company earned $0.75 per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ estimate by $0.01. A total of 51 hedge funds in our database were bullish on Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) at the end of the first quarter.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO)’s stock reached its 52-week high on Thursday, ending the session at $158.07. Earlier this week, the Massachusetts-headquartered biotechnology products company announced an agreement with DuPont Nutrition & Health to renew their distribution partnership for Western Europe, allowing Thermo Fisher to maintain exclusive supply of the DuPont BAX System Q7 platform in the region for at least the next three years. 50 funds in our database were long Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) as of the end of March, including Ferdinand Groos’ Cryder Capital, which owned 124,924 shares of the company.
Shares of Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) soared in value on Thursday to touch their 52-week high of $86.89. Goldman Sachs raised its price target on Procter & Gamble today to $88 per share, though it maintains a neutral rating on the stock, given the limited upside it sees in its shares. The company pays a $0.67 quarterly dividend, which amounts to an annual dividend yield of 3.12%.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shares increased to $36.92 on Thursday, a new-52 week high. Pfizer announced the results from two Phase III studies of its investigational crisaborole topical ointment on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The company claimed to have achieved “statistically significant” results on the primary and secondary endpoints for the studies. The company also announced earlier this week that the FDA had expanded the use of its pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar, to adults aged 18 through 49. Pfizer ranked among the most popular stocks in our database, with 119 funds holding shares of the company collectively valued at around $8.37 billion at the end of March.
We discuss the 52-week gains achieved by six other important stocks yesterday on the next page.