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Are Finance Stocks Lagging EZCORP (EZPW) This Year?

For those looking to find strong Finance stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Ezcorp (EZPW) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Finance sector should help us answer this question.

Ezcorp is a member of the Finance sector. This group includes 857 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #7. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Ezcorp is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for EZPW's full-year earnings has moved 8.3% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Our latest available data shows that EZPW has returned about 21.5% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of 2.6% on a year-to-date basis. As we can see, Ezcorp is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Axa Sa (AXAHY). The stock has returned 3.1% year-to-date.

Over the past three months, Axa Sa's consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 3.1%. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

To break things down more, Ezcorp belongs to the Financial - Consumer Loans industry, a group that includes 17 individual companies and currently sits at #171 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 4.1% so far this year, so EZPW is performing better this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

Axa Sa, however, belongs to the Insurance - Multi line industry. Currently, this 36-stock industry is ranked #67. The industry has moved +4.7% so far this year.

Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to Ezcorp and Axa Sa as they could maintain their solid performance.

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