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, it's pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks with the help of 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.
United Microelectronics Corporation (
UMC Quick Quote UMC - 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 company 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 United Microelectronics Corporation is 58.4%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 51.8% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 20%.
Cash Flow Growth
Cash is the lifeblood of any business, but higher-than-average cash flow growth is more beneficial and important for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That's because, high cash accumulation enables these companies to undertake new projects without raising expensive outside funds.
Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for United Microelectronics Corporation is 35.9%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 33.1%.
While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it's worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company's annualized cash flow growth rate has been 13.9% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 11%.
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.
The current-year earnings estimates for United Microelectronics Corporation have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 12.5% over the past month.
United Microelectronics Corporation has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #2 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.
You can see
the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
This combination positions United Microelectronics Corporation well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.