The Top 3 Stocks on the S&P 500 Last Week

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The S&P 500 extended its winning streak, gaining 1.2% last week to reach 4,415 following the best week of the year two weeks ago when it rose 5.9%. With the resurgence, the benchmark is at its highest level since Sept. 19 and is up 15% year to date (YTD).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite were up as well last week, with the Dow rising 0.7% and the Nasdaq climbing 2.4%.

This will be a big week for retailers, as Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT), to name a few of the bigger stocks, are all scheduled to report earnings. Meanwhile, the federal government is set to report retail sales for the month on Wednesday, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) are also due out this week.

As for last week, here were the top three stocks.

1 . TransDigm Group

TransDigm Group (NYSE:TDG) was the top performer on the S&P 500 last week, as it surged 12.5%. It opened on Monday at around $991 per share, up 57% YTD, making it a top-25 performer on the S&P 500 this year. TransDigm, which manufactures components for the aerospace industry and the military, had a tremendous week.

The company was buoyed by a blowout fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release as its net sales rose 23% to $1.8 billion, while its net income jumped 56% to $414 million. TransDigm’s adjusted earnings surged 46% to $8.03 per share, far exceeding analysts’ expectations.

In addition, TransDigm announced it was acquiring the Electron Device Business from Communications & Power Industries, owned by TJC, for $1.4 billion in cash. Like TransDigm, it also manufactures electronic components and subsystems for the aerospace and defense markets, with a focus on aftermarket content.

Further, TransDigm awarded investors with a special $35-per-share dividend, based on “our strong operating performance, outlook for steady cash generation and ongoing expectations.”

Those expectations were confirmed in the company’s fiscal 2024 outlook, as it is calling for net sales between $7.48 billion and $7.68 billion, compared with $6.585 billion in fiscal 2023; net income in the range of $1.641 billion to $1.753 billion, compared with $1.299 billion in fiscal 2023; and earnings per share of $26.61 to $28.55 per share, compared to $22.03 per share in fiscal 2023.

2. Extra Space Storage  

Quarterly earnings were also the catalyst for the second-best-performing stock on the S&P 500 last week, Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR). The storage company stock jumped 13.4% last week to $119 per share, but even with that jump, it is still down 19% YTD.

Extra Space Storage, a real estate investment trust (REIT), reported solid earnings with same-store sales up 1.9%, while adjusted funds from operations (FFO) were down 8.6% year over year to $2.02 per diluted share. However, investors were more interested in the companys improved guidance for its fiscal 2023.

Extra Space Storage raised the bottom of its core FFO for the fiscal year to a new range of $8.05 to $8.20 per share, up from the previous range of $8 to $8.25 per share. It also boosted the lower end of its fiscal 2023 same-store revenue growth, bringing the range to between 2.75% and 3.5%, versus the previous guidance of 2.5% to 3.5%.

3. Gen Digital  

The third-best performer on the S&P 500 last week was Gen Digital (NASDAQ:GEN), a provider of cybersecurity software. The company owns well-known cybersecurity brands like Norton, LifeLock and Avast. The stock surged 9.4% higher last week and was trading at around $19.30 on Monday morning, down 10% YTD.

Gen Digital posted the results for its fiscal second quarter of 2024 last week. Investors were pleased, as its revenue increased 27% to $948 million, while its earnings per share (EPS) almost doubled year over year to 23 cents. Bookings, which are customer orders for its cyber-safety products, jumped 28% in the quarter year over year.

At the midway point of its fiscal year, Gen Digital confirmed its previously established guidance, maintaining its revenue range of between $950 million and $960 million in its fiscal third quarter. The company also reiterated its EPS guidance of between 49 cents and 51 cents.

For the full fiscal year, Gen Digital expects its revenue to be between $3.81 billion and $3.835 billion, while it pegs its EPS at $1.95 to $2. In FY 2023, the company’s revenue was $3.3 billion, while EPS came in at $1.81.

Barclays raised its price target to $27 per share for Gen Digital after the company posted its earnings. The consensus price target for Gen Digital is $25 per share.