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Flowers Foods (FLO) Hits Fresh High: Is There Still Room to Run?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of Flowers Foods (FLO - Free Report) ? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 1% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $27.72 in the previous session. Flowers Foods has gained 19.7% since the start of the year compared to the 5.4% move for the Zacks Consumer Staples sector and the 3% return for the Zacks Food - Miscellaneous industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great 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 November 11, 2021, Flowers Foods reported EPS of $0.3 versus consensus estimate of $0.25.

For the current fiscal year, Flowers Foods is expected to post earnings of $1.25 per share on $4.33 billion in revenues. This represents a -3.82% change in EPS on a -1.41% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $1.25 per share on $4.41 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of -0.2% and 1.85%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Flowers Foods 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 these give investors a variety of ways to comb 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. Investors should consider the style scores a valuable tool that can help you to pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Flowers Foods has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are C and C, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 21.6X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 13.7X versus its peer group's average of 13.4X. 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, Flowers Foods 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 Flowers Foods passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Flowers Foods shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

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