Constant earnings growth captivates almost everyone, right from the top brass to research analysts. This is because earnings are a measure of the money a company is making. Notably, earnings are essentially revenues that the company generates after deducting the cost of production over a given period of time.
Earnings acceleration, however, works even better when it comes to lifting the stock price. Studies have shown that a majority of successful stocks had seen acceleration in earnings before an uptick in the stock price.
Basically, earnings acceleration is the incremental growth in earnings of a company. In other words, if the rate of a company’s quarter-over-quarter earnings growth increases within a stipulated frame of time, it can be referred to as earnings acceleration.
In case of earnings growth, you pay for something that is already reflected in the stock price. But, earnings acceleration helps spot stocks that haven’t caught the attention of investors yet, which once secured will invariably lead to a rally in the share price. This is because earnings acceleration considers both direction and magnitude of growth rates.
Increasing percentage of earnings growth means that the company is fundamentally sound and has been on the right track for a considerable period of time. Meanwhile, a sideways percentage of earnings growth indicates a period of consolidation or slowdown, while a decelerating percentage of earnings growth may at times drag prices down.
Hence, earnings acceleration should be viewed as a key metric for share price outperformance.
The Winning Strategy
Let’s look at stocks for which the last two quarter-over-quarter percentage EPS growth rates exceed the growth rates of the previous periods. The projected quarter-over-quarter percentage EPS growth rates are also expected to be higher than the previous periods’ growth rates.
EPS % Projected Growth (Q1)/(Q0) greater than EPS % Growth (Q0)/(Q-1): The projected growth rate for the current quarter (Q1) over the completed quarter (Q0) has to be greater than the growth rate from the completed quarter (Q0) over one quarter ago (Q-1).
EPS % Growth (Q0)/(Q-1) greater than EPS % Growth (Q-1)/(Q-2): The growth rate for the completed quarter (Q0) over one quarter ago (Q-1) has to be greater than the growth rate from one quarter ago (Q-1) over two quarters ago (Q-2).
EPS % Growth (Q-1)/(Q-2) greater than EPS % Growth (Q-2)/(Q-3): The growth rate from one quarter ago (Q-1) over two quarters ago (Q-2) has to be greater than the growth rate from two quarters ago (Q-2) over three quarters ago (Q-3).
In addition to this, we have added the following parameters:
Current Price greater than or equal to $5: This screens out the low-priced stocks.
Average 20-day volume greater than or equal to 50,000: High trading volume implies that the stocks have adequate liquidity.
The above criteria narrowed down the universe of around 7,735 stocks to only 14. Here are the top four stocks:
Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) develops integrated products, services, and solutions for defense and other government markets worldwide. The company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings moved up 0.3% over the last 60 days.
California Resources Corp (NYSE:CRC) operates as an oil and natural gas exploration and production company in the State of California. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings soared more than 100% over the last 60 days.
Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE:PAA) engages in the transportation, storage and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL), and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings advanced 2% over the last 60 days.
Tristate Capital Holdings (NASDAQ:TSC) operates as the bank holding company for TriState Capital Bank that provides various commercial and private banking services to middle-market businesses and high-net-worth individuals in the United States. The company has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings moved up 14.8% over the last 60 days.
You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.
The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It’s easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it’s very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.
Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance
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