The party goes on for the container companies. Textainer Group Holdings Limited (TGH - Free Report) recently beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter in a row and also raised its dividend for the 8th consecutive quarter. This Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) is still cheap, with a forward P/E of just 8.2.
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 Closed Out a Record 2011
On Feb 14, Textainer Group reported its fourth quarter and full year results and surprised on the Zacks Consensus by 6 cents. Earnings per share were $1.06 compared to the consensus of $1.00.
Average fleet utilization did actually fall to 97.7% from 98.6% in the third quarter of 2011. Utilization declined about 1% in the second half of 2011 but remained near historic highs. For the year, utilization was a record 98.3%.
For the full year, there was a 29.5% increase in the average size of the owned container fleet and a 7.1% increase in average per diem rental rates.
Is Slowing Expected in 2012?
Due to a shortage of containers coming out of the Great Recession, the container industry has been booming. But eventually, supply and demand was expected to come back into equilibrium.
Textainer saw demand for new standard dry-freight containers begin to slow in the second quarter of 2011 but demand for depot equipment remained strong.
Utilization rates did weaken slightly and declined about 1% over the second half of 2011.
It is optimistic that the utilization rate decline may level off or start to improve during the second quarter of 2012. Additionally, while resale prices recently declined in some locations, compared to the last 10 years, those price levels remained very high.
2012 Zacks Consensus Estimate Rises
The analysts liked what they heard in the earnings report. Since the announcement, 3 estimates have moved higher and 1 lower for 2012.
That has pushed the Zacks Consensus Estimates up to $3.85 from $3.78. That is further earnings growth of 7.4%.
Dividend Raised Again
For the 8th consecutive quarter, Textainer returned more money to its shareholders. It raised the dividend by 2 cents, or 5.7%, to 37 cents.
That is currently a not-too-shabby yield of 4.3%.
Still a Value Stock
Shares sold off on recession fears last summer as the container companies are among the first to see any kind of downturn. But when it didn't happen, and earnings continued to rise, shares rebounded.
Despite the rebound, Textainer is still cheap. In addition to a low P/E it also has a price-to-book ratio of 2.3. A P/B ratio under 3.0 usually indicates value.
Textainer also has other solid fundamentals such as a 1-year return on equity (ROE) of 24.3%. The S&P 500 average ROE is just 13.6%.
Textainer isn't seeing signs of a global recession although demand is softening slightly. With low valuations and a really juicy dividend yield, Textainer is a solid play on global growth.
This Week's Value Zacks Rank Buy Stocks
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After 153 years in business, Gardner Denver, Inc. (GDI) had a record year in 2011, boosted by strong business in the energy sector. Can it do it again in 2012? Despite the record year, this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) also still has attractive valuations, with a forward P/E of 11.8. Read the full article.
The Andersons, Inc. (ANDE) had a record 2011 as the agriculture sector remained hot. Can this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) repeat in 2012? The stock is getting no love from investors. It is cheap, with a forward P/E of just 9.4. Read the full article.
EnerSys Inc. (ENS) recently saw record quarterly earnings as it added investments in South America and South Africa. This Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) is expected to see double digit earnings growth in Fiscal 2012. Yet it also has attractive valuations with a forward P/E of just 11.8. Read the full article.
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.