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Zacks.com featured highlights: United States Steel, Brooks Automation, First Financial Northwest, MainSource Financial Group and First Midwest Bancorp

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 07, 2017 - Stocks in this week’s article include United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X – Free Report ), Brooks Automation, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRKS – Free Report ), First Financial Northwest, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFNW – Free Report ), MainSource Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFG – Free Report ) and First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: FMBI – Free Report ).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

5 Top-Ranked Earnings Growth Stocks to Buy Now

Right from the top brass to research analysts, unswerving earnings growth enthralls almost everyone. And why not? If the company doesn’t make money, it won’t stand the test of time. Take a company’s revenues over a given period of time, subtract the cost of production and you will have its earnings!

This metric is also considered to be the most noteworthy variable in influencing the share price. Better-than-expected earnings performances normally lead to a rally in the share price. However, in addition to actual earnings, expectations of earnings play a significant role in influencing the price of a stock.

Earnings Estimates Shape Share Prices

We have often seen a decline in the stock price despite earnings growth and a rally in the price following an earnings decline. This is largely a result of a company’s earnings failing to meet market expectations.

Earnings estimates embody analysts’ opinions of factors such as sales growth, product demand, competitive industry environment, profit margins and cost controls. Thus, earnings estimates serve as a valuable tool while taking investment decisions. Earnings estimates also help analysts assess the cash flow to determine the fair value of a firm.

As the earnings season picks up pace, investors should be on the lookout for stocks that are ready to make a big move. Hence, it is important for investors to invest in stocks that have historical earnings growth and are also seeing a rise in quarterly and annual earnings estimates.

Screening Parameters:

In order to shortlist stocks that have striking earnings growth and positive estimate revisions, we added the following parameters:

Zacks Rank equal to 1 (Only Zacks' 'Strong Buys' are allowed. With the Zacks Rank proving itself to be one of the best rating systems out there, this is a great way to start things off.) You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

5-Year Historical EPS Growth (%) greater than X-Industry (Stocks that possess strong EPS growth history.)

% Change EPS F(0)/F(-1) greater than or equal to 5 (Companies that witnessed year-over-year earnings growth rate of 5% or more in the last reported fiscal.)

% Change Q1 Estimates over the last 4 weeks greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their current quarter earnings estimates revised higher in the last 4 weeks.)

% Change F1 Estimates over the last 1 week greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their annual earnings estimates revised higher in the last 1 week.)

% Change F1 Estimates over the last 4 weeks greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their annual earnings estimates revised higher in the last 4 weeks.)

The above criteria narrowed down the universe of around 7,886 stocks to only 9. Here are the top five stocks:

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X – Free Report ) produces and sells flat-rolled and tubular steel products in North America and Europe. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 266.6%, way higher than the industry’s gain of 29.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings surged 337.7% over the last 60 days.

Brooks Automation, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKS – Free Report ) provides automation and cryogenic solutions for various applications and markets. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 105%, way ahead of the industry’s addition of 12.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 17.1% in the last 60 days.

First Financial Northwest, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFNW – Free Report ) operates as the bank holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest that provides commercial banking services in Washington. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 39.9%, more than the industry’s gain of 13%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings advanced 14.4% over the last 60 days.

MainSource Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFG – Free Report ) operates as the bank holding company for MainSource Bank that provides a range of financial services in the U.S. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 11.8%, higher than the industry’s increase of 6.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 6.7% in the last 60 days.

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:FMBI – Free Report ) operates as a bank holding company for First Midwest Bank that provides various banking products and services. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 18.9%, more than the industry’s gain of 6.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings improved 6.6% over the last 60 days.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

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United States Steel Corporation (X): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Brooks Automation, Inc. (BRKS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Financial Northwest, Inc. (FFNW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MainSource Financial Group, Inc. (MSFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (FMBI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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