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Israel Chemicals (ICL) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of Israel Chemicals Shs (ICL)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 9.9% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $6.52 in the previous session. Israel Chemicals Shs has gained 27.3% since the start of the year compared to the 18.2% move for the Zacks Basic Materials sector and the 7.6% return for the Zacks Chemical - Specialty industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 11, 2021, Israel Chemicals reported EPS of $0.05 versus consensus estimate of $0.03.

For the current fiscal year, Israel Chemicals is expected to post earnings of $0.34 per share on $5.43 billion in revenues. This represents a 70% change in EPS on a 7.63% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $0.41 per share on $5.92 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 20.59% and 9.12%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Israel Chemicals may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Israel Chemicals has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are C and A, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 19.2X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 11X versus its peer group's average of 12.9X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 0.98. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Israel Chemicals currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Israel Chemicals fits the bill. Thus, it seems as though Israel Chemicals shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.


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