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Two Strong Blue-Chip Earners

03/23/2010 1:00 pm EST


Louis Navellier

Editor, Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks & Accelerated Profits

Louis Navellier, editor of Blue Chip Growth, says the market is moving towards favoring big, blue-chip companies, and he has two recommendations.

The market is on the road to recovery. Don’t believe the latest Wall Street worry worts who sit and fret about a “double-dip” recession. The positive trends, such as the improving jobs market, increasing consumer spending, and inventory rebuilding on the wholesale level will drive our economy—and this market—forward for the remainder of the year.

Now I’m not saying we’re out of the woods yet. I’m still expecting a U-shaped recovery. After the first-quarter earnings are announced, I expect the market’s overall breath and power to narrow. As we enter the second quarter, there will be a “flight to quality” as Wall Street rewards only those companies with the best fundamentals.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) is a company that acts as an intermediary between pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, and other health care providers that dispense drugs. The company operates mostly in Canada and the United States, distributing generic, branded, and over-the-counter drugs, as well as some medical supplies and other products. It also has a specialty distribution unit that concentrates on sensitive and complex biopharmaceuticals, cancer drugs, vaccines, and plasma products.

In its latest quarter, ABC’s earnings rose 44.4% to $151.3 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with $111 million, or 36 cents per share, in the same quarter in 2008. The analyst community was expecting a 46-cents-a-share return, so ABC posted a 13% earnings surprise. During the same period, the company’s sales rose 11.5% to $19.3 billion compared with $17.3 billion.

The company also reaffirmed its outlook, stating it expects fiscal 2010 earnings from continuing operations to range [from] $1.89 per share to $1.98 per share. The company also expects sales growth to be between 7% and 8% and expects to buy back about $350 million of stock this fiscal year, both very good indicators for this company. (It closed around $29 recently—Editor.)

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) is the bottler and distributor of Dr. Pepper soda and Snapple drinks. It is the third-largest soft drink company in North America, after Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Pepsico (NYSE: PEP).

It serves Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Formerly called Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, DPS has a substantial portfolio of non-alcoholic beverages, including flavored, carbonated beverages and non-carbonated soft drinks, along with juices, juice drinks, mixers, and teas.

In the fourth quarter, the company’s earnings rose to $114 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with a loss of $621 million, or $2.44 per share, in same quarter in 2008, which included $1 billion in a non-cash impairment charge. The analyst community was expecting earnings of 43 cents per share on sales of $1.36 billion, so the company’s earnings were 2.3% better than expected and its sales were in line with estimates.

(The shares traded around $36 recently—Editor.)

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