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Aggressive Growth

Littlefuse Inc. (LFUS - Snapshot Report) has posted big gains in 2011, recently rebounding from a long-term trend line to jump higher with the market. With four consecutive earnings surprises and rising estimates, this Zacks #1 rank stock is a solid pick for growth.

Company Description

Littlefuse, Inc. designs and manufactures circuit protection devices for the auto, electronic and electrical markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The company was founded in 1927 and has a market cap of $1.4 billion.

Littlefuse has been pumping out big gains in 2011, helped by another strong from early May that came in ahead of expectations.

First-Quarter Results

Revenue for the period was up 16% from last year to $167 million. Earnings also looked good at $1.08, 2% ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, where the company has an average earnings surprise of 7% over the last four quarters.

Although the strong top line helped drive the quarter, the company noted that eclipsing a 20% operating margin in the traditionally weak first quarter was also a big boost.

Financial Profile

Littlefuse's recent earnings momentum has enabled it to strengthen its balance sheet, with cash and short-term investments up $55 million from last year to $132 million. Total debt was up $15 to a still marginal $75 million.

Estimates

We saw some pretty solid movement in estimates off the good quarter, with the current year up 55 cents to $4.53.

Valuation

But in spite of the gains, the valuation still looks solid, with a forward P/E of 13X a discount to the industry average of 14X.

12-Month Chart

On the chart, LFUS recently rebounded from a key long-term trend line. The 52-week high is $66.38, take a look below.

Michael Vodicka is the Momentum Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Momentum Trader Service.

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