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On Apr 2, 2013, shares of Waters Corp. (WAT - Analyst Report) hit a 52-week high of $95.50, reflecting a year-to-date return of 7.65%. The company beat its previous 52-week high of $95.41 attained on Mar 5.

Shares of this leading laboratory solutions provider have been riding high since it reported solid fourth quarter 2012 results on Jan 22. The company’s current P/E ratio on a trailing-12-month basis is 18.4. Average volume of shares aggregate 317k.

Growth Drivers

The company has hidden strengths in multiple areas, which drove its shares to a new high. Waters Corp. reported earnings of $1.59 per share from continuing operations, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Earnings in the quarter increased 1.9% from $1.56 in the year-ago quarter, benefiting from its stringent cost-control and disciplined pricing initiatives.

Recently in Mar, Waters Corp.unleashed a bunch of new and innovative products and technologies at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon). The noteworthy products unveiled include Waters ACQUITY Advanced Polymer Chromatography (APC) System, Paradigm Scientific Search Software, Quality Control Reference Materials (QCRMs) and the updated Alliance HPLC Designs.

Additionally, Waters Corp. also entered into a partnership with Dani Instruments for using its Empower Chromatography Data Software to control the former’s Headspace and Gas Chromatography instruments. This partnership might benefit the company strongly.

Moving ahead,Waters Corp. is expected to continue a sustained momentum in offering a portfolio of new products to augment its revenues. The company’s strong competitive position and strategic market initiatives are likely to facilitate it to perform well. Waters Corp. also has a positive ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) of 0.91%, which indicates that its earnings, scheduled to be announced on Apr 23, are expected to surpass estimates.

Other Stocks to Consider

Waters Corp. is expected to derive significant benefits from new product innovations in the future. Presently, Waters Corp. has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some other companies of the industry worth considering at the moment are Mettler-Toledo InternationalInc. (MTD - Snapshot Report)),PerkinElmer Inc. (PKI - Analyst Report)), andCrane Co. (CR - Snapshot Report)), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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