Abbott Labs"Abbott Labs (ABT, NYSE, around $50)...


Abbott Labs

"Abbott Labs (ABT, NYSE, around $50) derives 60 percent of operating profits from pharmaceutical and nutritional products, with the remainder coming from hospital and laboratory supplies.

Both divisions have double-digit sales and earnings momentum," says Dow Theory Forecasts of Hammond, Ind., "but the March-quarter performance in pharmaceuticals was outstanding.

"Drug sales jumped about 40 percent . . . Earnings growth should accelerate over the next three years."

Jan Bell Marketing

"Jan Bell Marketing (JMB, AMEX, around $12) is the leading distributor and marketer of fine jewelry products, primarily to wholesale membership clubs. The company recently announced the acquisition of Michael Anthony Jewelers, which makes an extensive line of handcrafted 14-karat gold jewelry," explains Peter McMullin of Southeast Research Partners.

"Meanwhile, Jan Bell should more than double its earnings this year despite the soft economic environment. We rate the stock as an aggressive buy."

Carnival Cruises

"We are initiating coverage of Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL, VTC AMEX, $23), the largest and fastest-growing company in the rapidly growing cruise-ship industry," says Daniel Lee of First Boston.

"Despite the company's superior track record, balance sheet and market position, the stock trades on par with its competitors. We rarely find a high growth company with a strong balance sheet trading at a market discount. "We feel the issue should be trading in the low-to-mid $30s. We rate the stock a strong buy."

American Express

"American Express (AXP, NYSE, around $25) has undergone a major transformation during the last decade and has evolved into a preeminent global financial services conglomerate," says Argus Research of New York.

The company's results for 1990 were weak. But by our estimate, 1991 earnings from continuing operations will jump more than 27 percent.

"The stock is currently trading at a multiple of 10.5. We think the issue could reach the mid-$30s within the next 12 months."

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