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Earnings growth enthralls almost everyone, right from the top brass to research analysts. But the question here is why? This is simply because earnings are a measure of the money a company is making. Take a company’s revenues over a given period of time, subtract the cost of production and you will have its earnings!

This metric is also considered the most significant variable in influencing the share price. Better-than-expected earnings performances normally lead to a rally in the share price. However, in addition to actual earnings, expectations of earnings play a vital role in determining share price movement.

Earnings Estimates Shape Stock Prices

We have often seen a decline in the stock price despite earnings growth and a rally in the price following an earnings decline. This is largely a result of a company’s earnings failing to meet market expectations.

So, what does earnings estimates symbolize? Earnings estimates embody analysts’ opinions of factors such as sales growth, product demand, competitive industry environment, profit margins and cost controls. Thus, earnings estimates are a valuable tool for investors. Analysts can also examine the cash flow based on these periodic earnings estimates to determine the fair value of the company.

Hence, it is important for investors to buy stocks that have historical earnings growth and are also seeing a rise in quarterly and annual earnings estimates.

The Winning Strategy

In order to shortlist stocks that have striking earnings growth and positive estimate revisions, we added the following parameters:

Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2 (Only Zacks' 'Buys' and 'Strong Buys' are allowed. With the Zacks Rank proving itself to be one of the best rating systems out there, this is a great way to start things off.) You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

5-Year Historical EPS Growth (%) greater than X-Industry (Stocks that possess strong EPS growth history.)

% Change EPS F(0)/F(-1) greater than or equal to 5 (Companies that witnessed year-over-year earnings growth rate of 5% or more in the last reported fiscal.)

% Change Q1 Estimates over the last 4 weeks greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their current quarter earnings estimates revised higher in the last 4 weeks.)

% Change F1 Estimates over the last 1 week greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their annual earnings estimates revised higher in the last 1 week.)

% Change F1 Estimates over the last 4 weeks greater than zero (Stocks that have seen their annual earnings estimates revised higher in the last 4 weeks.)

The above criteria narrowed down the universe of around 7,818 stocks to only 22. Here are the top five stocks:

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) is a provider an Internet television network. The company operates through three segments: Domestic streaming, International streaming and Domestic DVD. Netflix has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 144.9%, in contrast to the Broadcast Radio and Television industry’s projected decline of 6.2%.

Cooper Companies Inc (COO - Free Report) is a global medical device company. The company operates through two business units: CooperVision, Inc. and CooperSurgical, Inc. Cooper Companies has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 13.8%, higher than the Medical - Dental Supplies industry’s expected gain of 9.1%.

KEMET Corporation (KEM - Free Report) is a manufacturer of passive electronic components. The company operates through two segments: Solid Capacitors, and Film and Electrolytic. KEMET sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 158.1%, more than the Electronics - Miscellaneous Components industry’s expected gain of 19%.

Cohen & Steers, Inc. (CNS - Free Report) is a holding company. The company is an investment manager with a focus on liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, commodities and natural resource equities, as well as preferred securities and other income solutions. Cohen & Steers has a Zacks Rank #2. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 7.3%, higher than the Financial - Investment Management industry’s expected gain of 6.2%.

Southwest Airlines Co (LUV - Free Report) is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. Southwest Airlines has a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s estimated growth rate for this year is 4%, in contrast to the Transportation - Airline industry’s projected decline of 4.3%.

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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: https://www.zacks.com/performance

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