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UFP Technologies Rises 33% YTD: What's Driving the Rally?

Zacks Equity Research

UFP Technologies, Inc.’s UFPT price performance has been impressive so far in 2019, with shares having gained 33.2%. Solid financial performances and growth opportunities have supported positive market sentiments for this stock.

The Newburyport, MA-based company belongs to the Zacks Containers – Paper and Packaging industry. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of A.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Year to date, UFP Technologies has outshined its industry’s decline of 23.7%, the Zacks Industrial Products sector’s rally of 9.4% and the S&P 500’s improvement of 17.4%.




It is worth mentioning here that the company has reported better-than-expected results for three quarters in a row so far in 2019. Average positive earnings beat for these three quarters was 12.48%. Notably, earnings in the last reported quarter surpassed estimates by 10.71%.

Factors Driving the Stock

We believe that broader factors are aiding UFP Technologies’ success. Growing need for sophisticated packaging in chemical, medical, beverage, food, pharmaceutical and many other markets are benefiting the industry players. Also, rising awareness for environment-friendly packaging options is keeping the corporates busy in innovation. Demand is also high from emerging nations.

We believe that such tailwinds have placed the industry in the top 30% (with the rank of 78) of more than 250 Zacks industries. Also, the industry’s current growth estimates for earnings is 8.9%.

Narrowing down on company-specific factors, focus on strengthening foothold in six prime end-markets served — including consumer, automotive, industrial, electronics, aerospace & defense, and medical — is a boon. Especially for the medical market, the company gains from its product offerings for wound care, invasive surgery, orthopedics and infection prevention as well as aging population. Notably, the medical market is the largest revenue generator for UFP Technologies.

In addition, the company’s exposure in the aerospace market, which is witnessing higher demand for lighter and safer aircraft, has been beneficial. Also, expertise in design engineering, product & material diversity, and precision manufacturing capabilities has raised its competitive advantage. To add to the tailwinds, acquired assets have been supporting top-line growth. Since acquired in 2018, Dielectrics Inc. has been strengthening UFP Technologies’ medical business.

Earnings estimates for the company have been raised in the past 60 days, reflecting positive sentiments about its growth prospects. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 2.3% to $2.27 for 2019 and 2.9% to $2.81 for 2020 from the 60-day-ago figures. Also, these estimates reflect year-over-year growth of 8.1% for 2019 and 23.8% for 2020.

UFP Technologies, Inc. Price and Consensus

 

UFP Technologies, Inc. Price and Consensus

UFP Technologies, Inc. price-consensus-chart | UFP Technologies, Inc. Quote

UFP Technologies’ Performance Versus Three Peers

The company has outperformed four industry peers so far in 2019. Three such stocks are Graphic Packaging Holding Company GPK, AptarGroup, Inc. ATR and Sealed Air Corporation SEE, with respective year-to-date gains of 30.5%, 28.5% and 13.9%.

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