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Bull of the Day: Triton International (TRTN)

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Triton International Limited (TRTN - Free Report) is riding high as demand for containers outstrips supply. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to grow sales by 37% in 2017.

Triton International is the result of a merger in July 2016 between Triton Container and TAL International. Combined, they created the world's largest lessor of intermodal freight containers and chassis with a fleet of over five million twenty-foot equivalent units ("TEU").

Big Beat in Q1

On May 11, Triton reported first quarter results and blew by the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 17%. Earnings were $0.48 compared to the Zacks Consensus of just $0.41.

Average utilization rose 1.7% to 95.3% from the fourth quarter of 2016 as demand remained strong.

The container market started to recover at the end of 2016 and has continued into 2017. Volumes have been above expectations in 2017 for a number of Triton's customers. Meanwhile, new container production has been constrained by financial challenges facing many shipping lines and leasing companies.

That means demand is rising while containers remain in short supply. And that's exactly the type of market the company wants to be in.

As of May 11, Triton's average utilization in the second quarter was running at 96.4%.

But the market may be even hotter now.

On June 19, competitor CAI International (CAI - Free Report) gave an update on its utilization rates saying that it was averaging 97.7% in the second quarter and it expected it to be "above 98%" in the third quarter.

Earnings Expected to Soar

Given the strong container market, the analysts have been raising full year estimates.

Triton is expected to make $2.39 in 2017, up from $1.97 just 60 days ago. That's earnings growth of 174% as Triton made only $0.87 last year.

A Rare Value and Growth Stock

Triton's shares have soared in 2017 as investors have realized that the tight container market will mean big earnings.

They are up 119% this year and at new highs since the 2016 merger.

But shares are still attractively valued. They trade with a forward P/E of just 14.2 because those earnings estimates are rising just as quickly as the stock.

It also has a price-to-book of just 1.4. A P/B ratio under 3.0 usually indicates value.

With triple digit earnings growth expected, Triton is a rare growth AND value stock.

Shareholders are also rewarded with a juicy dividend, currently yielding 5.6%. Triton is paying out its big earnings growth back to shareholders. Investors may not always get that yield, but right now, the company is generating the cash flow.

For investors looking for a way to play the growing global economy, Triton is one to keep on the short list.

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