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3 Stocks with Increasing Estimates, Ratings and Prices

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Picking stocks when the market is around record highs is easy, right? Well, it always seems to be when you think about it, but things like this pandemic, earnings season, stimulus and vaccines tend to make things even more unpredictable than you could have every imagined.  

The best way to improve your odds for success is to find names with several characteristics moving in the right direction. Rising earnings estimates is great, but it’s even better if broker ratings and price momentum are trending upward as well. And let’s throw a low price-to-sales ratio in there too.

The Increasing Estimates, Ratings & Prices screen looks for all of that. Below are three stocks that recently passed the test. Make sure to click here for the full list to see all the names.

Flex (FLEX - Free Report)

After standing still for a few months, earnings estimates for Flex (FLEX - Free Report) have finally taken off in the past few days. Expectations are sharply higher after the company outlined “robust” demand across its portfolio of businesses this earnings season.  

FLEX provides “sketch-to-scale” services to original equipment manufactures in various industries, including medical, automotive, industrial, home appliances, capital equipment, energy, and many others. The end-to-end services it provides includes designing, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain services/solutions.

As part of the electronics – misc products space, FLEX is in the top 34% of the Zacks Industry Rank. Shares are up more than 38% over the past year.

Last week, FLEX reported its sixth straight beat of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Fiscal third-quarter earnings of 49 cents topped our expectations by more than 32%. The average surprise over the past four quarters is now 24.1%. The result was also a nearly 29% improvement year over year.

Revenues of $6.7 billion topped our expectation by 7.4% and eclipsed last year by 4%.

FLEX obviously knows where the future is. For example, the improving automotive sector was a particularly strong area in the quarter, especially as the company expands its business in the space by focusing on autonomous and electric cars. But that’s just the tip of the microchip when it comes to up-and-coming technologies.

FLEX is also positioned to gain from momentum in artificial intelligence, augments & virtual reality and industrial automation.

Getting back to earnings estimates, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for this fiscal year (ending March 2021) jumped 14.3% to $1.44 in the past week. For next fiscal year (ending March 2022) the advance has been 10.8% to $1.54.

Therefore, analysts are currently expecting year-over-year growth of 6.9%, which is likely to rise amid improving demand in an economy that’s, hopefully, getting back to normal in the months ahead.

Huntsman Corporation HUN

When Huntsman (HUN) boasted “positive momentum entering the fourth quarter” in its October report, the chemicals company wasn’t kidding around. Last month, it stated that adjusted EBITDA would be better than its prior guidance and above the prior year by between 20% and 25%.

So it’s no wonder earnings estimates are on the rise as we head toward that fourth-quarter report on February 12.

HUN is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of differentiated and commodity chemical products. It’s biggest reportable segment is Polyurethanes (57% of 2019 sales), which are used in making rigid foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. The other segments include Performance Products (17%), Advanced Materials (15%) and Textile Effects (11%).

As a chemical – diversified company, HUN is part of a space in the Top 10% of the Zacks Industry Rank. Shares are up 10.7% so far this year and 39.2% over the past 12 months.

The third-quarter report saw improving conditions across most of the company’s businesses, except commercial aircraft. Earnings per share of 32 cents eclipsed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 28%. That marks four straight beats with an average surprise of more than 28.5%.

Revenue of more than $1.51 billion topped our expectations by nearly 3%. This was also the fourth straight beat.

Other recent news included HUN completing the purchase of Gabriel Performance Products on January 15, which will provide commercial synergies for the expansion of its specialty products portfolio.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is at 91 cents, which marks an improvement of 15.2% over the past two months. However, the most impressive stuff is coming up. HUN is expected to earn $1.94 in 2021, which is up 12.1% in the same amount of time.

Therefore, analysts currently expect earnings growth of over 113% in 2021 over 2020.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report)

Under normal conditions, you probably wouldn’t get too excited about a company pre-announcing a narrower loss than previously expected. It’s good news, of course, but nobody’s throwing a party.

However, if an apparel company struggling through this pandemic offers such a forecast, then its at least worth a virtual happy hour because most are still wary of looking too far into the future.

And yet, that’s exactly what Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report) did last month. The global specialty retailer of apparel and accessories said it now expects fourth-quarter net sales to decline between 5% and 7%, instead of its previous expectation for a slip of 5% to 10%.

As you’d expect, ANF is managing to stay strong in a difficult time because of “robust” digital sales, though its also taking efficient expense management actions to deal with the disruptions in its stores.

The company will report that fourth quarter along with most other retail stocks in early March, which would be the tail end of earnings season. Shares of ANF are up 24.2% so far in 2021 and more than 56% over the past year.

Late November saw ANF report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 76 cents per share, which trounced the Zacks Consensus Estimate at a five-cent loss. Yes, that comes to a surprise of more than 1600%, which you can probably chalk up to unpredictability during this pandemic. Nevertheless, the company has beaten our expectations in three of the past four quarters.

Net sales of $819.7 million topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.5% but were down 5% year over year. Perhaps most importantly, though, digital net sales increased 43% to $382 million.

Earnings estimates have been pretty erratic as well, but are still very positive. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for last fiscal year (ended January 2021) has narrowed in the past 30 days to a loss of $1.11 from a loss of $1.37.

However, the pandemic will hopefully be under control sometime this year, which explains why expectations soared to a profit of $1.12 for the year ending January 2022. So a loss of $1 to a gain of $1 in one year… not bad!

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF) - free report >>

Flex Ltd. (FLEX) - free report >>