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4 Stocks to Buy as Q2 Earnings Season Nears Close

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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 Determine Share 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 are earnings estimates? It embodies analysts’ opinions of factors such as sales growth, product demand, competitive industry environment, profit margins and cost controls. Thus, earnings estimates serve as a valuable tool while taking investment decisions. Earnings estimates also help analysts assess the cash flow to determine the fair value of a firm.

As the second-quarter earnings season is almost coming to an end, we have picked stocks that have displayed historical earnings growth and are also seeing a rise in quarterly and annual earnings estimates. As of Aug 16, 462 S&P 500 members have reported their earnings figures. Earnings for these members are up 10.7% on 5.8% higher revenues, with 74.5% beating EPS estimates and 68.3% surpassing top-line expectations (read more: The Retail Sector's Mixed Q2 Showing).

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.)

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 7,867 stocks to only 20. Here are the top four stocks:

SP Plus Corp (SP - Free Report) is a provider of parking management, ground transportation and other ancillary services to commercial, institutional and municipal clients. The company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 5.7% over the last 60 days. The company’s estimated growth rate for the current year is 26.1%, higher than the industry’s projected addition of 17.7%.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp (EW - Free Report) is a manufacturer of heart valve systems and repair products used to replace or repair a patient's diseased or defective heart valve. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 7.4% over the last 60 days. The company’s estimated growth rate for the current year is 30.9%, higher than the industry’s projected addition of 16.7%.

Magna International Inc. (MGA - Free Report) is a global automotive supplier. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 2.1% over the last 60 days. The company’s estimated growth rate for the current year is 14%, higher than the industry’s projected addition of 13.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) focuses on personal computer (PC) graphics, graphics processing unit (GPU) and also on artificial intelligence (AI). The company has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current year earnings increased 17.2% over the last 60 days. The company’s estimated growth rate for the current year is 40.1%, higher than the industry’s projected addition of 23.9%.

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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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