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Here is Why Growth Investors Should Buy Kohl's (KSS) Now

Zacks Equity Research
Coke (KO) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

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. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.

That's because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

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.

Kohl's (KSS) 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.

Studies have shown that stocks with the best growth features consistently outperform the market. And returns are even better for stocks that possess the combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this department store operator is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

Earnings Growth

Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.

While the historical EPS growth rate for Kohl's is 3.8%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 7.6% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of -1%.

Cash Flow Growth

Cash is the lifeblood of any business, but higher-than-average cash flow growth is more beneficial and important for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That's because, high cash accumulation enables these companies to undertake new projects without raising expensive outside funds.

Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for Kohl's is 11.6%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 6.9%.

While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it's worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company's annualized cash flow growth rate has been 1.2% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of -2.5%.

Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions

Beyond the metrics outlined above, investors should consider the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is a plus 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 Kohl's have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.2% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Kohl's a Zacks Rank #1 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.

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

This combination indicates that Kohl's is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.


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