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5 Stocks with Strong Sales Growth to Recharge Your Portfolio

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Investors often fail to consider sales growth as a dependable metric when it comes to picking stocks. This might be because of their preconceived notion that a company’s stock price is typically sensitive to its earnings momentum. However, betting on stocks completely depending on such a perception may not prove worthwhile.

Why Sales is a Better Indicator than Earnings

It’s worth keeping in mind that in cases when companies incur a loss, albeit transitorily, they are valued on their revenues not earnings, as top-line growth (or decline) is usually an indicator of a company’s future earnings performance.

Notably, in contrast with price to earnings and price to book value ratios, which can turn negative and cease to be relevant, the price-to-sales (P/S) ratio is available even for firms that have hit choppy waters.

Further, a company can improve earnings by resorting to cost control measures while maintaining stable revenues. However, superior profits could be achieved through continued revenue growth.
Additionally, earnings and book value are largely influenced by several factors including accounting decisions tied with depreciation, significant charges and inventory. However, management has limited opportunities to manipulate sales, which further underscores the importance of P/S ratio.

The Chosen Strategy

A huge sales number does not necessarily convert into profits. Hence, considering a company’s cash position along with its sales number can prove to be more prudent. Substantial cash in hand and a steady cash flow lend a company more flexibility with respect to business decisions and investments.

In order to shortlist stocks that have witnessed impressive sales growth along with a high cash balance, we have added 5-Year Historical Sales Growth (%) greater than X-Industry and Cash Flow greater than $500 million as our primary screening parameters.

However, sales growth and cash strength are not the absolute criteria for selecting stocks. So, we have added a few other factors to arrive at a winning strategy.

Price-to-Sales (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 (4 Weeks) greater than X-Industry: Better-than-industry estimate revision has often been seen to trigger an increase in the stock price.

Operating Margin (Average Last 5 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 for the company.

Return on Equity (ROE) greater than 5%: This metric will ensure that sales growth is being translated into profits and the company is not hoarding cash. A high ROE means 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.

Here are five of the 24 stocks that made it through the screen:

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. manufactures and distributes a varied product range of flavored (non-cola) carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and non-carbonated beverages (NCBs) including ready-to-drink teas, juices, juice drinks, waters and mixers. The company mainly operates in the United States, Canada and Mexico and also distributes its products in the Caribbean. This Plano, TX,-based company currently has a long-term expected EPS (earnings per share) growth rate of 8.9% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA - Free Report) , headquartered in Redwood City, CA, is a leading developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of interactive games (video game software and content). EA distributes its gaming content and services through multiple distribution channels and directly to consumers (online and wirelessly) through its online portals Origin and Play4Free.  It has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 16.1% and sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR - Free Report) is a leading provider of networking solutions and communication devices. The company is engaged in developing, designing and selling network products globally. The Sunnyvale, CA-based currently has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 9.6% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU - Free Report) , through its subsidiaries and affiliates, offers an array of financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management and real estate services. This Newark, NJ-based company has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 9% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) is a leading financial services holding company headquartered in New York. With around 55,256 employees, the company serves a diversified group of clients including corporations, governments, financial institutions and individuals through more than 1,200 offices across 43 countries. The company has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 6.9% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.

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:

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