The market had a good week, so it's not a surprise to see many of the recent market darlings keep moving higher. More than 625 stocks on the major U.S. exchanges hit new 52-week highs last week. A lot of the winners are familiar and obvious, but some of the names may surprise you.
Twitter (TWTR), Choice Hotels (CHH -0.12%), and Copart (CPRT -0.92%) are some of the more surprising names among the hundreds of stocks hitting all-time highs. Let's see what's driving these three stocks higher.
It may seem odd to see Twitter hitting 52-week highs on Friday. Social media is generally under fire, and Twitter is seen as a platform that's been easily exploited in the past by bots and other nefarious accounts to influence elections and general user behavior. There are also data and privacy concerns; even the CEO had his account hacked late last month.
Thankfully Twitter's financial actions are speaking louder than its character count-restricted words. Twitter has consistently trounced Wall Street profit targets over the past year. Revenue rose 18% in its latest quarter this summer, up 20% on a constant currency basis. There were once concerns about stagnant account growth and waning interest on its home turf, but U.S. revenue soared 24% for the second quarter. Twitter also claims to be better about tackling "spammy" accounts, realizing that it will be under the microscope as we head into the 2020 election.
Investors aren't exactly hot on hoteliers these days. Between geopolitical tensions that are disrupting international travel and a market that's bracing for a potential global recession running an inn isn't exactly "in" with investors. Choice Hotels is standing out for its value-priced approach to lodging.
Baird analyst Michael Bellisario initiated coverage of the hospitality winner late last month, arguing that it's the most defensive brand in his coverage of hotel brands. He sees the current low interest rate environment and Choice Hotels' predictable earnings and cash flow as compelling even with the stock now trading at all-time highs.
There's some money to be made selling salvage and clean title vehicles through auctions to dealers, exporters, and scrap seekers, even as the car market in general seems to be shifting into reverse. Copart hit fresh highs last week after posting blowout financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter.
Revenue rose 21% for the three months ended in July, and Copart's strongest year-over-year top-line burst for a quarter in more than a year. Earnings per share doubled that pace, rising a better-than-expected 42% for the period. Copart has now pieced together four consecutive fiscal years with double-digit revenue growth. It's earning its revved-up highs.