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.
In addition to volatility, these stocks carry above-average risk by their very nature. Also, one could end up losing from a stock whose growth story is actually over or nearing its end.
However, it's pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks 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.
Our proprietary system currently recommends Core-Mark (CORE) as one such stock. This 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).
Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this wholesale consumer products distributor a great growth pick right now.
Arguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. And for growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is definitely preferable, and often an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.
While the historical EPS growth rate for Core-Mark is 4.4%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 13.9% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 9.9%.
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 Core-Mark is 22.2%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of -0.3%.
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 12.1% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 3.8%.
Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions
Superiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable 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 Core-Mark have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.4% over the past month.
While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Core-Mark a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.
This combination indicates that Core-Mark is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.
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Core-Mark Holding Company, Inc. (CORE): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.