Why American Electric Power (AEP) is a Top Growth Stock for the Long-Term

Taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for new and old investors, and Zacks Premium offers many different ways to do both.

The research service features daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens, all of which will help you become a smarter, more confident investor.

It also includes access to the Zacks Style Scores.

What are the Zacks Style Scores?

Developed alongside the Zacks Rank, the Zacks Style Scores are a group of complementary indicators that help investors pick stocks with the best chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.

Each stock is given an alphabetic rating of A, B, C, D or F based on their value, growth, and momentum qualities. With this system, an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on, meaning the better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform.

The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:

Value Score

Finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value, are what value investors like to focus on. So, the Value Style Score takes into account ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to highlight the most attractive and discounted stocks.

Growth Score

Growth investors are more concerned with a stock's future prospects, and the overall financial health and strength of a company. Thus, the Growth Style Score analyzes characteristics like projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow to find stocks that will see sustainable growth over time.

Momentum Score

Momentum trading is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook, and these investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." The Momentum Style Score can pinpoint good times to build a position in a stock, using factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates.

VGM Score

What if you like to use all three types of investing? The VGM Score is a combination of all Style Scores, making it one of the most comprehensive indicators to use with the Zacks Rank. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, which helps narrow down the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum.

How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank

The Zacks Rank is a proprietary stock-rating model that harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings expectations, to help investors build a successful portfolio.

It's highly successful, with #1 (Strong Buy) stocks producing an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988. That's more than double the S&P 500. But because of the large number of stocks we rate, there are over 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, plus another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.

But it can feel overwhelming to pick the right stocks for you and your investing goals with over 800 top-rated stocks to choose from.

That's where the Style Scores come in.

To have the best chance of big returns, you'll want to always consider stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B, which will give you the highest probability of success. If you're looking at stocks with a #3 (Hold) rank, it's important they have Scores of A or B as well to ensure as much upside potential as possible.

Since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank, the direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy.

For instance, a stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, even one that boasts Scores of A and B, still has a downward-trending earnings forecast, and a much greater likelihood its share price will decline as well.

Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.

Stock to Watch: American Electric Power (AEP)

Columbus, OH-based American Electric Power Company, Inc. is a public utility holding company, which, through directly and indirectly owned subsidiaries, generates, transmits and distributes electricity, natural gas and other commodities. The company was incorporated in 1906 and reorganized in 1925. It is one of the largest integrated utilities in the United States, serving more than 5.6 million customers in 11 states. It has roughly 25,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, of which almost 41% are coal-fired as of Dec 31, 2022 and nearly 40,000 miles of the electricity transmission system network. Its service area covers Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Approximately 43% of the company’s power is generated from coal and lignite, 21% from nuclear energy, 19% from natural gas and oil and the remaining 17% from wind, water, pumped storage and other sources. The company mainly operates under the following business segments:

AEP is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of B.

Additionally, the company could be a top pick for growth investors. AEP has a Growth Style Score of B, forecasting year-over-year earnings growth of 3.3% for the current fiscal year.

Three analysts revised their earnings estimate higher in the last 60 days for fiscal 2023, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0 to $5.26 per share. AEP also boasts an average earnings surprise of 1.2%.

With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Growth and VGM Style Scores, AEP should be on investors' short list.

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American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) : 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.

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