In general, investors prefer stocks that have a low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. The common perception is that the lower the P/E, the higher will be the value of the stock. Investors’ inclination is backed by the simple logic that if a stock’s current market price lags its earnings potential, it has room to run.
But stocks with a rising P/E are worth buying as well. We’ll tell you why.
Why Rising P/E a Valuable Tool?
Investors should note that stock price moves in tandem with earnings performance. If earnings come in stronger, the price of a stock shoots up. Solid quarterly earnings and the forward guidance boost earnings forecasts, leading to stronger demand for the stock and an uptrend in its price.
So, if the price is rising steadily, it means that investors are assured of the stock’s fundamental strength and expect some strong positives out of it. Investors expect earnings of the company to rise at a faster pace in the future on the back of strong fundamentals. Also, studies have revealed that stocks have seen their P/E ratios jump over 100% from their breakout point in the cycle. So, if you can pick stocks early in their breakout cycle, you can end up seeing considerable gains.
The Winning Strategy
In order to shortlist stocks that are exhibiting an increasing P/E, we chose the following as our primary screening parameters.
EPS growth estimate for the current year is greater than or equal to last year’s actual growth
Percentage change in last year EPS should be greater than or equal zero
(These two criteria point to flat earnings or a growth trend over the years.)
Percentage change in price over four weeks greater than the percentage change in price over 12 weeks
Percentage change in price over 12 weeks greater than percentage change in price over 24 weeks
(These two criteria show that price of the stock is increasing consistently over the said timeframes.)
Percentage price change for four weeks relative to the S&P 500 greater than the percentage price change for 12 weeks relative to the S&P 500
Percentage price change for 12 weeks relative to the S&P 500 greater than the percentage price change for 24 weeks relative to the S&P 500
(Here, the case for consistent price gains gets even stronger as it displays percentage price changes relative to the S&P 500.)
Percentage price change for 12 weeks is 20% higher than or equal to the percentage price change for 24 weeks, but it should not exceed 100%
(A 20% increase in the price of a stock from the breakout point gives cues of an impending uptrend. But a jump of over 100% indicates that there is limited scope for further upside and that the stock might be due for a reversal.).
In addition, we place a few other criteria that lead us to some likely outperformers.
Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2:Only companies with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) rating can get through. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Average 20-day Volume greater than or equal to 50,000: High trading volume implies that the stocks have adequate liquidity.
Just these few criteria narrowed down the universe of more than 7,700 stocks to just 15.
Here are five out of the 15 stocks:
Calavo Growers Inc. CVGW: Thisglobal avocado-industry leader sports a Zacks Rank #1. It belongs to a favorable Zacks industry (placed at the top 16% of 250+ industries).
eBay Inc. EBAY: The online retailer carries a Zacks Rank #1 and comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 41%).
GenMark Diagnostics Inc. GNMK: This molecular diagnostics company carries a Zacks Rank #2. The stock belongs to a favorable Zacks industry (top 22%).
Telenav Inc. TNAV: It is a provider of location-based services, including voice-guided navigation, on mobile phones. It sports a Zacks Rank #1. The stock comes from a favorable Zacks industry (top 44%).
Heico Corporation HEI: It is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Federal Aviation Administration-approved jet engine and aircraft component replacement parts. It has a Zacks Rank #2.
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.
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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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eBay Inc. (EBAY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
GenMark Diagnostics, Inc. (GNMK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Telenav, Inc. (TNAV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Calavo Growers, Inc. (CVGW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Heico Corporation (HEI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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