NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/13 -- The S&P 500 Index has continued its surge throughout this earnings and has topped the 1500 mark for the first time in five years. The S&P Index has posted a gain of nearly 7 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) and Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE: RAI).
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Signs of an improving U.S. economy combined with a relatively strong earnings season has helped fuel the S&P Index's rally in the early parts of 2013. Of the 354 companies in the S&P 500 Index that have reported earnings this year approximately 74 percent have exceeded profit projections, according to data from Bloomberg.
"The early months of any year are often seasonally strong for the stock market, and this year was no exception," said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors, which oversees $380 billion. "The important question is, were those gains earned? Based on the earnings results that we've gotten so far, it seems as though they were."
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Shares of Best Buy have soared over 45 percent year-to-date. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.68 per share, for a dividend yield of approximately 3.95 percent. Best Buy is scheduled to release results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 on Thursday, February 28th. Barclays and Stifel Nicolaus have both recently upgraded the company's rating.
Shares of Reynolds American have gained over 7.5 percent year-to-date. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $2.36 per share, for a dividend yield of approximately 5.30 percent. Reynolds American reported fourth quarter 2012 adjusted EPS of $0.76, a 5.6 percent increase when compared to the year ago quarter.
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