Will Eaton Give Shareholders a Jolt in 2013?

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As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Eaton (NYSE: ETN  ) . The electrical component maker had an electric performance in 2012 as it pulled off a massive buyout of equipment maker Cooper Industries. But will the company be able to integrate Cooper and justify its high price? Below, you'll learn more about Eaton's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Eaton



Average Stock Target Price


Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate


Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate


Forward P/E


Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will lightning strike for Eaton in 2013?
Analysts are cautiously optimistic about Eaton's prospects for the near future. Their target price on the stock is just 5% above where it trades currently, but even though the revenue figures largely reflect the Cooper buyout rather than organic growth, a modest boost to earnings would give Eaton a nice tailwind this year.

One promising sign that Eaton has already seen is that inventories of heavy machinery have started to fall, showing that buyers are finally making capital expenditures to boost their production capacity. That's good news not only for Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) and Deere (NYSE: DE  ) , which received upgrades from analyst firm ISI Group last week, but also for Eaton and its component business.

Still, Eaton will have to deal with plenty of competition in 2013. Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR  ) isn't going through the challenge Eaton faces of digesting a major acquisition, arguably leaving Emerson in a position to be more nimble about its strategic moves this year and beyond. Moreover, with General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) being an ever-present wild card in the industry, especially as it starts to contemplate a move toward heavy equipment of its own, Eaton will have to stay on its toes and be ready to respond to whichever direction GE chooses for itself.

Overall, how Eaton does in 2013 will depend on how well it can take advantage of the opportunities that the Cooper buyout opens up. If the economy cooperates, it could be a perfect time for Eaton to thrive.

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Click here to add Eaton to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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11/27/2015 12:14 PM
ETN $58.12 Up +0.17 +0.29%
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