Growth investors focus on stocks that are seeing above-average financial growth, as this feature helps these securities garner the market's attention and deliver solid returns. But finding a great growth stock is not easy at all.
By their very nature, these stocks carry above-average risk and volatility. Moreover, if a company's growth story is over or nearing its end, betting on it could lead to significant loss.
However, the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the
Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects, makes it pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks.
PRFT Quick Quote PRFT - Free Report) is on the list of such stocks currently recommended by our proprietary system. In addition to a favorable Growth Score, it carries a top Zacks Rank.
Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.
Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this information technology consulting firm a great growth pick right now.
Arguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.
While the historical EPS growth rate for Perficient is 23.4%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 24.7% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 16.4%.
Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio
Growth investors often overlook asset utilization ratio, also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio, but it is an important feature of a real growth stock. This metric shows how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.
Right now, Perficient has an S/TA ratio of 0.84, which means that the company gets $0.84 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.8, it can be said that the company is more efficient.
While the level of efficiency in generating sales matters a lot, so does the sales growth of a company. And Perficient is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 15.1% this year versus the industry average of 3.3%.
Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions
Beyond the metrics outlined above, investors should consider the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is a plus here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.
There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Perficient. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 6.6% over the past month.
While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Perficient a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.
You can see
the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
This combination positions Perficient well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.