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3 Reasons Growth Investors Will Love Federated Investors (FII)

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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 growth stock that can live up to its true potential can be a tough task.

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 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, makes it pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks.

Federated Investors (FII - Free Report) is on the list of such stocks currently recommended by our proprietary system. In addition to a favorable Growth Score, it carries a top Zacks Rank.

Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And returns are even better for stocks that possess the combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this one of the nation's largest managers of money market funds a great growth pick right now.

Earnings Growth

Arguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. And for growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is definitely preferable, and often an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.

While the historical EPS growth rate for Federated Investors is 13.2%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 13.7% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 2%.

Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio

Asset utilization ratio -- also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio -- is often overlooked by investors, but it is an important indicator in growth investing. This metric exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.

Right now, Federated Investors has an S/TA ratio of 0.78, which means that the company gets $0.78 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.35, 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 Federated Investors is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 14.7% this year versus the industry average of 0%.

Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions

Superiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Federated Investors. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 1.7% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Federated Investors a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

This combination indicates that Federated Investors is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.


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