Estee Lauder Started as a “Buy” at Jefferies & Co. (EL)

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Cosmetics maker The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. ( EL ) on Tuesday saw its coverage initiated with a “Buy” rating by analysts at Jefferies & Co. The firm also set a $90 price target on EL, which implies a nearly 14% upside to the stock’s Monday closing price of $79.08. Jefferies noted it sees plenty of room for growth within the company, and believes new CEO Fabrizio Freda’s four-year plan will be highly successful. It also noted the possibility of growth through acquisition, which the company is well-positioned for, given its strong balance sheet and credit rating. Estee Lauder shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Tuesday. The Bottom Line Shares of Estee Lauder ( EL ) have a .95% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $79.08. The stock has technical support in the $70-$75 price area. The shares are trading near all-time highs and have little overhead resistance. The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. ( EL ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) Improving Operating Margins

Although they don’t like the valuation of Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) at this time, UBS (NYSE:UBS) does believe they’re making strong progress toward improving operating margins.UBS said, “We believe Estée Lauder is making solid progress towards improving operating margins, all while investing behind top-line growth…We are raising our 2013 margin estimate from 14% to 14.5%, and our FY 2011-FY 2013

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