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Value

Expansion continues through the entire container industry. Textainer Group Holdings Limited (TGH - Snapshot Report) expanded its fleet by 5.5% year over year in the first quarter. Despite trading at 2-year highs, this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) continues to be a value stock with a forward P/E of just 8.7.

Textainer is the largest lessor of intermodal containers in the world based on fleet size. It leases dry freight, refrigerated and specialized containers to more than 400 shipping lines.

The company also sells used containers to more than 1,000 customers around the world.

Textainer Beat Again In Q1

On May 8, Textainer reported first quarter results and surprised on the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the 4th quarter in a row. Earnings were 97 cents compared to the consensus of 94 cents.

Revenue jumped 28.9% to $117.5 million from $91.2 million a year ago.

Utilization remained near historic highs but did fall 1.3% to 96.9% from 98.2% a year ago.

The company also continues to expand its fleet. It ordered 224,000 twenty-foot equivalent units ("TEU") of new dry-freight containers and 15,000 TEU of new refrigerated containers for delivery through July 2012.

Container Demand Still Remains Strong

Even though utilization rates declined 1.3% year over year, since April, it has increased steadily. 79% of the company's fleet is committed to long-term, direct financing and sales-type leases, up from 76% a year ago.

It also continues to see "strong demand for new containers."

Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 Jumps

The analysts got really bullish after this report, as 7 out of 8 estimates moved higher in the last week.

The 2012 Zacks Consensus also rose by 5.1% to $4.09 from $3.89.

That is earnings growth of 14.2% compared to 2011 when the company made $3.58 per share.

Raised the Dividend For The 9th Quarter In A Row

Shareholders have been rewarded over the last 2 years.

Textainer has raised the quarterly dividend 9 straight quarters and did so again for the second quarter. The Board of Directors approved a dividend of 40 cents, a 8.1% increase from the first quarter.

Textainer is currently yielding 4.4%.

Shares At 2-Year High

Shares have been hot, but there's still plenty of value in Textainer.

In addition to a P/E under 10, it has a price-to-book of 2.4. A P/B ratio under 3.0 usually indicates value.

Textainer also has other strong fundamentals, including a 1-year return on equity (ROE) of 28.6%. This easily beats its peers which average just 8.5%.

The container companies are still growing earnings and paying out big paydays to their shareholders. Textainer joins other container groups in also being an attractive value stock.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her on twitter at @TraceyRyniec.

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