Growth stocks are attractive to many investors, as above-average financial growth helps these stocks easily grab the market's attention and produce exceptional returns. But finding a great growth stock is not easy at all.
In addition to volatility, these stocks carry above-average risk by their very nature. Also, one could end up losing from a stock whose growth story is actually over or nearing its end.
However, the task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy with the help of the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL) is one such stock that our proprietary system currently recommends. The company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.
Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.
While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this restaurant operator is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:
Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. And for growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is definitely preferable, and often an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.
While the historical EPS growth rate for Cracker Barrel is 9.1%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 2.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 2.3%.
Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio
Growth investors often overlook asset utilization ratio, also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio, but it is an important feature of a real growth stock. This metric exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.
Right now, Cracker Barrel has an S/TA ratio of 1.94, which means that the company gets $1.94 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.18, it can be said that the company is more efficient.
In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Cracker Barrel is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 2.7% this year versus the industry average of 1.4%.
Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions
Superiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.
The current-year earnings estimates for Cracker Barrel have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 1.4% over the past month.
Cracker Barrel has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #1 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.
You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
This combination indicates that Cracker Barrel is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.
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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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