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 task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy 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.
Malibu Boats (
MBUU Quick Quote MBUU - Free Report) is one such stock that our proprietary system currently recommends. The company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also 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 maker of performance sports boats a great growth pick right now.
Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. 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 Malibu Boats is 31.6%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 29.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 4.6%.
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 exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.
Right now, Malibu Boats has an S/TA ratio of 1.47, which means that the company gets $1.47 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.25, 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 Malibu Boats is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 28.5% this year versus the industry average of 7.5%.
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 Malibu Boats have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 10.2% over the past month.
Malibu Boats has not only earned a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #1 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 Malibu Boats well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.