Consistent growth in sales is the key to survival of any business. For any company, sales growth not only provides an insight into product demand and pricing power, but is also important for growth projections and strategic decision making.
Yet, investors often fail to consider sales growth as a dependable metric. One of the main reasons for this could be investors’ preconceived notion that a company’s stock price is generally sensitive to its earnings momentum. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that in case a company incurs a loss (although temporarily), it is valued on its revenues as top-line growth (or decline) is usually an indicator of a company’s future earnings performance. Further, in an improving economy, absence of sales growth indicates that the company’s market share is not increasing. Hence, some sustained sales growth is necessary to support the bottom line. Hence, Price-to-Sales (P/S) ratio can turn out to be an appropriate metric for stock valuation. The importance of the metric is suggested by the fact that management has limited opportunities to manipulate revenues unlike earnings. However, a huge sales number does not necessarily convert into profits. Hence, it’s more prudent to consider a company’s cash position along with its sales number. Substantial cash in hand and a steady cash flow lend a company more flexibility with respect to business decisions and investments. Picking Winning Stocks
In order to shortlist stocks with impressive sales growth and a high cash balance, we have selected
5-Year Historical Sales Growth (%) greater than X-Industry and Cash Flow more than $500 million as our main screening parameters. But sales growth and cash strength are not the absolute criteria for selecting stocks. Hence, we have added certain other factors to arrive at a winning strategy. P/S Ratio less than X-Industry: This metric determines the value placed on each dollar of a company’s revenues. The lower the ratio, the better it is for picking a stock since the investor is paying less for each unit of sales. % Change F1 Sales Estimate Revisions (four weeks) greater than X-Industry: Estimate revisions, better than the industry, are often seen to trigger an increase in stock price. Operating Margin (average last five years) greater than 5%: Operating margin measures how much every dollar of a company's sales translates into profits. A high ratio indicates that the company has good cost control and sales are increasing faster than costs — an optimal situation. Return on Equity (ROE) greater than 5%: This metric will ensure that sales growth is translated into profits and the company is not hoarding cash. A high ROE means that the company is spending wisely and is in all likelihood profitable. Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform, irrespective of the market environment. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Here are five of the 16 stocks that qualified the screening: Headquartered in Richmond, VA, CarMax, Inc. ( KMX Quick Quote KMX - Free Report) operates as a specialty retailer of used and new vehicles. Its expected sales growth rate for fiscal 2022 is 30.4%. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. Crown Holdings, Inc. ( CCK Quick Quote CCK - Free Report) — based in Philadelphia, PA — is a leading global manufacturer of packaging products for consumer goods. The company’s expected sales growth rate for 2021 is 3.2%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Headquartered in Houston, TX, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. ( CNP Quick Quote CNP - Free Report) is a domestic energy delivery company that provides electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution along with competitive natural gas sales and services operations. Its expected sales growth rate for 2021 is 4.8%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. Saskatoon, Canada-based Nutrien Ltd. ( NTR Quick Quote NTR - Free Report) is a leading integrated provider of crop inputs and services. Its expected sales growth rate for 2021 is 15.8%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 at present. Rye Brook, NY-based Xylem Inc. ( XYL Quick Quote XYL - Free Report) is one of the leading providers of water solutions worldwide. Its expected sales growth rate for 2021 is 8.8%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. Get the rest of the stocks on the list and start putting this and other ideas to the test. It can all be done with the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting software. The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out. Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance