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Graham Corporation (GHM) Hits Fresh High: Is There Still Room to Run?

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Shares of Graham (GHM - Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 4.9% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $19.93 in the previous session. Graham has gained 104.5% since the start of the year compared to the 17.4% move for the Zacks Industrial Products sector and the 24.5% return for the Zacks Manufacturing - General Industrial 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 6, 2023, Graham reported EPS of $0.04 versus consensus estimate of $-0.06 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 7.43%.

For the current fiscal year, Graham is expected to post earnings of $0.31 per share on $175.7 million in revenues. This represents a 933.33% change in EPS on a 11.83% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $0.32 per share on $192.07 million in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 3.23% and 9.31%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Graham 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 has run ahead of itself.

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. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

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

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 63.5X current fiscal year EPS estimates, which is a premium to the peer industry average of 21.4X. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 28.9X versus its peer group's average of 12.8X. 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, Graham currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) thanks to favorable earnings estimate revisions from covering analysts.

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 Graham meets the list of requirements. Thus, it seems as though Graham shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.

How Does GHM Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of GHM have been soaring, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? One industry peer that looks good is Flowserve Corporation (FLS - Free Report) . FLS has a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy) and a Value Score of B, a Growth Score of C, and a Momentum Score of B.

Earnings were strong last quarter. Flowserve Corporation beat our consensus estimate by 21.95%, and for the current fiscal year, FLS is expected to post earnings of $2.53 per share on revenue of $4.29 billion.

Shares of Flowserve Corporation have gained 10.2% over the past month, and currently trade at a forward P/E of 20.53X and a P/CF of 23.1X.

The Manufacturing - General Industrial industry is in the top 35% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for GHM and FLS, even beyond their own solid fundamental situation.

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