3 Surging Growth Stocks for Your Portfolio

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There are no certainties in the market. Even if your stock reports strong quarterly results, it's no guarantee that it will lead to higher share prices. Your best bet is to play the odds…and Zacks has just the screen for you!

It may be a mouthful, but the "Top Ranked Growth Stocks on the Move" premium screen is a great way to find high probability stocks that have been outperforming and should continue to do so. Many of Zacks' best investment tools are in the parameters of this screen. Zacks Rank #1s and #2s? Check. Top 50% of the Zacks Industry Rank? Check. Zacks Growth Style Scores of As and Bs? Check. Plus, it also uses average broker ratings, positive surprises, favorable valuations and positive price momentum to round out its list.

Today we've highlighted three names that have passed this tough criteria. One of them is a banking giant that you may already do business with. Another is linked to semiconductors, which has been one of the best-performing spaces for months now. The final highlight may seem a bit out of left field since it's an RV manufacturer, but its strong performances over the last several quarters shows why it's part of this group.

Bank of America ( BAC )

Bank of America isn't acting like a nearly $250 billion major bank these days...and that's a good thing. Earnings estimates have been steadily increasing for months now, keeping the stock at a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with flirtations in Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) territory. Plus, shares have jumped more than 8.5% since its last report in late December. This is the air usually reserved for much smaller companies on their way up, rather than long-established industry leaders like BAC.

Well, a look at the way banks responded to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's recent testimony shows where all the excitement is coming from. In a rising interest rate environment (even a "gradual" one described by Ms. Yellen), banks like BAC will finally be able to charge more for loans and other financial services. Rates have been well below the norm for over a decade now. In anticipation, the Banks - Major Regional industry is now in the top 9% of the Zacks Industry Rank with the 23rd spot out of 256. In addition, BAC is coming off of its third straight report with a positive earnings surprise, having beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate by nearly 5.3% in its fourth quarter and amassing an average surprise of 6.8% over the past four quarters.

But what we really love to see here at Zacks is some nice earnings estimate improvement...and again this giant has a bit of a spring in its step. Over the past 60 days, ten of 12 covering analysts raised their estimates. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 has climbed 10 cents in that time to $1.74. Estimates are also up 10 cents over the same period for 2018 to $2.03, which means analysts are seeing year-over-year earnings growth of more than 16%. Now, we'll wait and see what the Fed and President Trump do in the days ahead. If the banks get the rate hikes and pro-growth initiatives that they crave, then BAC could have a lot further to climb.

Bank of America Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Bank of America Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Bank of America Corporation Quote

MKS Instruments ( MKSI )

Four years is a long time to do anything...especially in this volatile market. So the fact that MKS Instruments has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 16 straight quarters is not only an impressive feat, but shows that this company has a great deal of momentum moving forward. The company is a global provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor and analyze critical parameters of advanced manufacturing processes to improve process performance and productivity. Huh? All you need to know is that MKSI is in the semiconductor manufacturing business...and anything that has to do with semiconductors is pretty hot right now.

In its most recent report, EPS of $1.05 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5% and improved upon the year-ago quarter by an impressive 209%. Revenue of $405 million also bettered our expectations while topping last year by 135.5%. Other than its numbers, the other big news in the past year was its acquisition of Newport Corporation. The deal closed in April of last year, and is already boosting its top and bottom lines by reinforcing its presence in the Semiconductors, Life Sciences, Research and Industrial markets.

The past month has seen a sharp increase in earnings estimates for 2017 as all five covering analysts raised their expectations. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has jumped 11% in that time to $3.88 from $3.49. Analysts currently expect $4.21 for 2018, which suggests year-over-year growth of 8.5%. The stock is up more than 11% in the past month. It is part of the Electronics - Manufacturing Machinery industry, which places it in the Top 4% of the Zacks Industry Rank at spot 10 out of 256.

MKS Instruments, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

MKS Instruments, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | MKS Instruments, Inc. Quote

Thor Industries ( THO )

So after highlighting one of the world's biggest banks and a company tied to the hot semiconductor space, why focus on a recreational vehicle manufacturer like Thor Industries? Two reasons. First of all, it deserves it! This Zacks Rank #1 passed this stringent screen and has put together some pretty impressive earnings reports. Secondly, the building products - mobile homes and RV builders is in the top 1% of the Zacks Industry Rank! THO focuses mostly on baby boomers, which just so happen to be nearly a quarter of the country's population. And with the economy in a strong state these days, the company has been a big beneficiary of the desire to hit the open road...with all the comforts of home.

THO will be reporting again in early March, when it will be going for its sixth straight positive surprise. In its fiscal first quarter from late November, it earned $1.49 per share. The result beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 21% and the year-ago performance by more than 55%. The past four quarters have amassed an average surprise of more than 24%. Revenue soared 65.8% in the quarter to $1.71 billion. One of the company's biggest moves over the past year was the $576 million acquisition of smaller rival Jayco, which Thor said was integrated smoothly and made a meaningful contribution to the quarter's results.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this fiscal year hasn't moved much in the past month, but there have been raised estimates in that time. However, earnings estimates are up 2.4% from two months ago and nearly 10% from three months ago when it last reported. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next year currently suggests growth of 8.6% year over year. Apart from baby boomers, the company is also making attempts to attract Gen Xers and Millennials to the RV lifestyle with lower-priced products and more technology. Perhaps Thor's Executive Chairman Peter B. Orthwein said it best: "With a stable or improved economy, including job and income growth, we are optimistic that demand from consumers and dealers will drive another year of impressive growth for the RV industry."

Thor Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Thor Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Thor Industries, Inc. Quote

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest tickers for the entirety of 2017?

Who wouldn't? These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold. Be among the very first to see them >>

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Bank of America Corporation (BAC): 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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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