Momentum Stock: Pall Corp.
Pall Corp. (NYSE:PLL) continues to pressure its fresh 52-week high on the heels of strong Q2 results from early February that included an impressive 19% earnings surprise. With an average earnings surprise of 17% over the last four quarters and bullish growth projection, this Zacks #1 rank stock has plenty of momentum.
Pall Corporation manufactures and sells medical technologies and industrial goods worldwide. The company was founded in 1946 and has a market cap of $6.62 billion.
Although PLL has been strong with the market for the last six months, shares got an extra boost on March 10 after the company reported strong Q2 results that came in ahead of expectations.
Revenue for the period was up 15% from last year to $645 million. Earnings also looked good, coming in at 68 cents, 19% ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, where the company has an average earnings surprise of 17% over the last four quarters.
The company’s largest segment, Life Sciences saw solid 14% sales growth, driven by a strong showing from BioPharmaceuticals, where sales were up 22%. It Industrial segment, only marginally smaller than Life Sciences, saw sales increase 18% to $311 million.
Pall also saw continued gains in margins, with operating margin climbing to 17.8% and gross margin increasing to 51.5%.
The company also continues to strengthen its already solid balance sheet, with cash and equivalents of $435 million and total debt of $656 million, down $64 million from last year.
We saw some decent movement in estimates off the good quarter, with the current year adding 20 cents to $2.83 while the next-year estimate gained 19 cents to $3.18, a bullish 12% growth projection.
But in spite of the recent gains, the valuation picture is still decent, with a forward P/E of 20X, only a slight premium to its peer average of 19X.
On the chart, shares have been trending higher for the last 6 months, recently jumping to a new 52-weke high on the good quarter. Look for support from the long-term trend line on any weakness, take a look below.
Michael Vodicka is the Momentum Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Momentum Trader Service.