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Hillenbrand (HI) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?

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Shares of Hillenbrand (HI - Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 16.6% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $52.84 in the previous session. Hillenbrand has gained 28.9% since the start of the year compared to the -0.1% move for the Zacks Consumer Staples sector and the 10.2% return for the Zacks Funeral Services industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 3, 2021, Hillenbrand reported EPS of $0.96 versus consensus estimate of $0.73 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 8.32%.

For the current fiscal year, Hillenbrand is expected to post earnings of $3.47 per share on $2.74 billion in revenues. This represents an 8.78% change in EPS on an 8.98% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $3.47 per share on $2.79 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 0.14% and 1.54%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Hillenbrand may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Hillenbrand has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are A and D, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 14.8X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 10.4X versus its peer group's average of 10.6X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 1.23. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Hillenbrand currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Hillenbrand passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Hillenbrand shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

How Does Hillenbrand Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of Hillenbrand have been moving higher, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also solid potential picks, including Matthews International (MATW - Free Report) , Hillenbrand (HI - Free Report) , and Franchise Group (FRG - Free Report) , all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 9% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for Hillenbrand, even beyond its own solid fundamental situation.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Matthews International Corporation (MATW) - free report >>

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