Friday morning brought the release of three major economic indicators. GDP came in at 2.3%, slightly higher than the consensus estimate. The employment cost index and Consumer sentiment also just barely topped expectations.
It was the same story all week, with PMI, New and Existing Home Sales, the Case-Schiller Home price Index, Consumer Confidence, Durable Goods Orders, and Weekly Jobless claims all coming in just slightly better than expected.
The economy is growing at a steady, if unspectacular pace. Wages are slowly rising, unemployment is at an all time low, and interest rates, though higher than a year ago, are still in the low end of their historical range.
What do Americans love to do when things are going well?
Take it easy, take a vacation, maybe even play some golf.
So let’s take a look at three highly ranked stocks in the industries where people spend their disposable income.
Get Away from it All
Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV - Free Report) operates vacation ownership resorts in the U.S. and worldwide. Business is booming and HGV has beat the Zacks Consensus Earnings estimate in each of the past 4 quarters. The outlook for 2018 is even better, with 3 upgrades in the past 60 days bring the estimate for full year earnings from $2.14/share to $2.85/share. Upward earnings revisions earn HGV a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Despite being a fast growing industry leader Hilton Grand Vacations is priced like a value stock, trading at a forward P/E ratio of 15.3, compared to an industry average of 20.6.
Take a Dip
Pool Corporation (POOL - Free Report) operates three networks of wholesale pool supplies distribution and is the world’s leading seller of pool equipment and supplies. Catering to everyone from an ordinary residential repairman to huge builders and managers of commercial aquatic facilities, Pool Corp is where everyone in the swimming pool business buys equipment, tools, parts and supplies.
Swimming pools require constant maintenance and equipment breaks frequently, so selling chemicals, parts and replacement equipment means Pool Corp has a largely captive audience.
Earnings at Pool Corp are on the rise. After posting $3.99/share in 2017, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 has risen to $5.52/share. Pool Corp is a Zacks Rank #2(Buy).
Hit the Links
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF - Free Report) manufactures and markets three popular high-end segments of golf Equipment. Titleist Golf Balls, Titleist Golf Equipment and Foot Joy golf shoes and clothing are recognized by golfers worldwide. The number of golf rounds played nationwide lagged during the years after the great recession, but recent economic strength has put the sport back on the upswing.
After industry consolidation, Acushnet has emerged a lean, efficient industry leader. Margins are improving and earnings are rising even as revenues climb only modestly. Ten analysts have raised their expectations for 2018 net in the last 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate now stands at $1.58/share, 28% higher than 2017. Aided by all of the upgrades, Acushnet is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).