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The real estate market is on its way back and we see evidence of this in more than just the home builders. There are signs of life in a few companies that also carry a strong Zacks Rank as well. Let's take a look at three stocks all in different industries that have been and continue to feel the positive effects fo the real estate recovery.
First up on my list of evidence that there is a recovery is Zillow (Z - Snapshot Report). After coming public a little more than a year ago at $20, the stock is now comfortably above the 100% return level for early investors. Unlike many other recent Internet IPOs (GRPN, ZNGA, FB), Zillow has produced the right amount of growth and stability that makes it easy investors to continue to want to own more.
The Zacks Consensus Earnings estimates have been rising of late for Zillow. In July of 2012 the consensus stood at $0.07 and is now at $0.12. Over the same time period the 2013 estimates are showing even greater growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 was calling for EPS of $0.32 in July and is currently at $0.46. The implied earnings growth rate of 283%. You are not going to find many stocks with a higher earnings growth rate than that.
Recent worries about a secondary offering that Zillow recently completely have been somewhat abated. Zillow competes directly with Trulia, a company that has filed an S-1 to go public and has even had its offering get initial pricing from its investment bankers. That was before Zillow launched a lawsuit against Trulia on 9/12/12 for patent infringement. Trulia Estimates seem to be a copy of the Zestimate that Zillow uses, so expect the IPO process to slow down a bit as a new risk statement gets added to S-1.
Zillow (Z - Snapshot Report) is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy). Zillow was also the recent subject of a Zacks Rank Buy article.
Another play in the real estate recovery is CoreLogic (CLGX - Snapshot Report). The company was the subject of a recent Zacks Rank Buy article. CLGX has produced a positive earnings surprise in each of its last five quarters. As a provider of consumer, financial and property data CLGX is in the real estate industry as an information provider for mortgages. The company became a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock on July 10, 2012.
Estimates for CLGX have been creeping higher. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 stood at $1.17 in June and has since risen to the current level of $1.30. Similarly, 2013 estimates have moved from $1.23 to 1.43 over the same time period. The implied growth rate of 10% is likely to move higher as the consensus estimate for 2013 has not budged since July when the stock became a #1 Rank.
The recent Fed easing action may be another reason to take a deeper look at this company. The Fed announced a new stimulus program to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month. This is likely to cause interest rates to remain depressed which could bring more buyers into the market.
CLGX is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy)
Our final stock is that is benefitting from the recovery in the real estate maker is Lumber Liquidators (LL - Snapshot Report). LL is not quite the direct play on the recovery as Zillow or CoreLogic, but there is the idea of home improvements being done in newly purchased homes. LL is retailer of hardwood floors with more than 110 stores nationwide.
Much like CLGX, Lumber Liquidators (LL - Snapshot Report) has seen earnings estimates rise sharply. The 2012 Zacks Consensus Estimate was steady at $1.23 in June of this year, but has since ticked higher to $1.45. Estimates for 2013 have also moved higher, growing from $1.45 in June to the current level of $1.75. That implies earnings growth of 21%, something that investors love to see.
The most recent quarter was a blowout for LL. The company reported a 48% positive earnings surprise and topped revenue estimates as well. The beat of $0.14 eclipses the $0.04 beat in the previous quarter which shows some excellent earnings momentum. It was the subject of a recent Zacks Rank Buy article which reviewed the quarter.
LL is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) and has been a #1 Rank or #2 Rank stock since April of this year.
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Brian Bolan is a Stock Strategist
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