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Hain Celestial Touches New High

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Shares of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN - Free Report) reached a new 52-week high of $98.06 on Jan 15, 2014. This leader in natural food and personal care products eventually closed trade at $97.81 yesterday, amassing a significantly high return of roughly 82.0% over the past one year. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 600K.

The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 31.42x, a 40.9% premium to the peer group average of 22.3x. The last traded price is 5.6% above the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $92.65. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated earnings per share growth rate is 11.8%.

Hain Celestial’s strategic investments plus continued efforts to contain costs, increase productivity, and enhance cash flows and margins have enabled it to deliver healthy results.

The company, which competes with General Mills Inc. (GIS - Free Report) , expects to sustain strong momentum as it remains well positioned to capitalize on the growing global demand for organic products through acquisitions, which has been a key strategy in building market share.

This is evident from its latest acquisition of Tilda Limited, a renowned name in Basmati rice. Management believes that the buyout of Tilda will augment Hain Celestial's adjusted earnings by 6 cents to 10 cents a share during the second half of fiscal-year 2014. Further, the strong presence of the Tilda brand in emerging markets such as the Middle East and North Africa, and India are likely to provide Hail Celestial a gateway to expand its existing brands.

Earlier, the company had acquired leading packaged grocery brands Hartley's, Gale's, Robertson's, Frank Cooper's and Sun-Pat from Premier Foods plc. These acquisitions have not only widened the company’s geographical presence, but have also provided opportunities to cross-sell products in the U.S., Canadian and European markets.

Apart from these factors, if we look at the company’s earnings surprise history over the last 13 quarters, Hain Celestial has topped estimates by an average of 4.1%. In the last concluded quarter, the company posted earnings of 52 cents a share that came a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and surged 26.8% year over year. This also makes this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company a healthy option for investors.

Apart from Hain Celestial, other stocks such as DHT Holdings, Inc. (DHT - Free Report) and Bally Technologies, Inc. achieved new 52-week highs of $7.98 and $81.34 respectively, on Jan 15, 2014.

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General Mills, Inc. (GIS) - free report >>

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