Walter Energy, SouFun and Other Top Performers in August

By Benzinga | September 03, 2013 AAA

Three basic materials companies -- Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE: WLT) -- were among the top-performing dividend-paying stocks in August.

So was Chinese Web portal operator SouFun Holdings (NYSE: SFUN). And analysts see at least a little further upside potential in all four of them. Below we take a glance at how these stocks have fared and what analysts expect from them.

Note that some of August's other top performers with dividends include property manager E-House (China) Holdings (NYSE: GGAL) and Yanzhou Coal Mining (NYSE: YZC).

See also: Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional

This Brazilian steel producer reported record revenue for the first half of the year and much better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter. It sports a market capitalization of more than $5 billion and offers a dividend yield of 3.4 percent. Its long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is more than 21 percent.

Only one of the five analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call recommends buying shares, while three rate the stock at Underperform. However, the price target, or where that analyst expects the share price to go, is more than 65 percent higher than the current share price. That target would be a new 52-week high.

Shares have risen more than 24 percent in the past month, though the share price is still more than 42 percent lower year-to-date. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed not only the Down Jones Industrial Average, but ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) and U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) as well.

IAMGOLD

This Toronto-based miner of gold, silver and copper narrowly missed consensus EPS estimates in the most recent quarter but reaffirmed its full-year production guidance. Its market cap is more than $2 billion and the dividend yield is about 4.2 percent. Note that the return on equity is only about four percent.

Only five the 19 surveyed analysts recommend buying shares. For at least three months, the consensus recommendation has been to hold shares. The analysts' mean price target is more than 11 percent higher than the current share price. That target is well below the 52-week high.

Though the share price is more than 25 percent higher than a month ago, that is after a more than 11 percent retreat last week. Over the past six months, this stock has outperformed the likes of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), though it has underperformed the broader markets.

Walter Energy

This Birmingham, Alabama-based coal miner said in early August that it was weighing assets sales in the face of declining coal revenues. The company's market cap is near $810 million, and its dividend yield is about 0.3 percent. The long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 24 percent.

The consensus recommendation of the surveyed analysts is to hold shares, and it has been for at least three months. Yet their mean price target indicates more than 30 percent potential upside. That consensus price target is much less than the 52-week high reached last fall.

Shares are trading more than 26 percent higher than a month ago but are still down more than 65 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has underperformed competitors CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) and Westmoreland Coal (NASDAQ: WLB) over the past six months.

See also: Short Sellers Shy Away From Coal Stocks

SouFun Holdings

This Beijing-based real estate website operator posted better-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter due to China's strong housing market. The $3+ billion market cap company offers a 4.8 percent dividend yield. The long-term EPS growth forecast is more than 25 percent and the return on equity is about 93 percent.

Three of the five surveyed analysts recommend buying shares, but none rates the stock at Underperform. Analysts see only a little headroom for shares, as their mean price target is marginally higher than the current share price. That would be a new multiyear high, though.

The share price is up almost 20 percent in the past month and shares are trading near a 52-week high. SouFun Holdings has outperformed competitors such as Sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU) and the broader markets over the past six months.

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

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