Are These Stocks Nearing A Big Breakout? – Select Medical Holdings Corporation (SEM), Northern Trust Corporation (NTRS)

Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE: SEM) shares are -35.48% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 3.86% or $0.56 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +50.60% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -47.36% down YTD and -38.53% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -2.96% and 8.42% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On May 17, 2019, JMP Securities recommended the SEM stock is a Mkt Outperform, while earlier, Deutsche Bank had Initiated the stock as a Buy on September 17, 2019.

The stock currently trades at $15.06 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $28.71. The consensus price target represents an upside potential 47.54.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 63.20% in the current quarter to $0.32, up from the $0.27 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of $1.04, down -0.60% from $1.24 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.24 and $0.42. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $1.47 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 31 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 29 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 1,147,505 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 1,961,096. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 2,160 and 411,459 in purchases and sales respectively.

SWERGOLD LEOPOLD, a Director at the company, sold 25,000 shares worth $552750.0 at $22.11 per share on Dec 02. The Exec. Chairman and Co-Founder had earlier sold another 11,459 SEM shares valued at $322800.0 on Feb 24. The shares were sold at $28.17 per share. SWERGOLD LEOPOLD (Director) sold 25,000 shares at $22.18 per share on Nov 29 for a total of $554500.0 while TARVIN MICHAEL E, (Executive Vice President) sold 55,000 shares on Nov 18 for $1.16 million with each share fetching $21.03.

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS), on the other hand, is trading around $75.61 with a market cap of $16.01B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $82.27 and spell out a more modest performance – a 8.1% return. Some analysts are even forecasting $5.43 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Northern Trust Corporation (NTRS) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

NTRS’s operating margin was positive on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at 29.40%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $1.13 billion. This represented a -95.61% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $576.1 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS inclined $1.75 on the year-over-year period, growing to $1.85 as given in the last earnings report.

The cash flow from operating activities totaled $2.59 billion, significantly higher than the $1.77 billion reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $2.43 billion.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 128 times at Northern Trust Corporation over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 63 times and accounting for 338,112 shares. Insider sales totaled 246,113 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 65 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are -2.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 1.28M shares after the latest sales, with 16.70% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.30% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 85.40% with a share float percentage of 207.98M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Northern Trust Corporation having a total of 933 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) with over 15.6 million shares worth more than $1.66 billion. As of Dec 30, 2019, Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) held 7.45% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Blackrock Inc., with the investment firm holding over 14.55 million shares as of Dec 30, 2019. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $1.55 billion and represent 6.95% of shares outstanding.