Constant earnings growth captivates almost everyone, right from the top brass to research analysts. This is because earnings are a measure of the money a company is making. Notably, earnings are essentially revenues that the company generates after deducting the cost of production over a given period of time.
Earnings acceleration, however, works even better when it comes to lifting the stock price. Studies have shown that a majority of successful stocks had seen acceleration in earnings before an uptick in the stock price.
So, what is earnings acceleration? It is the incremental growth in a company’s earnings per share (EPS). In other words, if the rate of a company’s quarter-over-quarter earnings growth increases within a stipulated frame of time, it can be called earnings acceleration.
In case of earnings growth, you pay for something that is already reflected in the stock price. But, earnings acceleration helps spot stocks that haven’t caught the attention of investors yet, which once secured will invariably lead to a rally in the share price. This is because earnings acceleration considers both direction and magnitude of growth rates.
Increasing percentage of earnings growth means that the company is fundamentally sound and has been on the right track for a considerable period of time. Meanwhile, a sideways percentage of earnings growth indicates a period of consolidation or slowdown, while a decelerating percentage of earnings growth may at times drag prices down.
Hence, earnings acceleration should be viewed as a key metric for share price outperformance.
The Winning Strategy
Let’s look at stocks for which the last two quarter-over-quarter percentage EPS growth rates exceed the growth rates of the previous periods. The projected quarter-over-quarter percentage EPS growth rates are also expected to be higher than the previous periods’ growth rates.
EPS % Projected Growth (Q1)/(Q0) greater than EPS % Growth (Q0)/(Q-1): The projected growth rate for the current quarter (Q1) over the completed quarter (Q0) has to be greater than the growth rate from the completed quarter (Q0) over one quarter ago (Q-1).
EPS % Growth (Q0)/(Q-1) greater than EPS % Growth (Q-1)/(Q-2): The growth rate for the completed quarter (Q0) over one quarter ago (Q-1) has to be greater than the growth rate from one quarter ago (Q-1) over two quarters ago (Q-2).
EPS % Growth (Q-1)/(Q-2) greater than EPS % Growth (Q-2)/(Q-3): The growth rate from one quarter ago (Q-1) over two quarters ago (Q-2) has to be greater than the growth rate from two quarters ago (Q-2) over three quarters ago (Q-3).
In addition to this, we have added the following parameters:
Current Price greater than or equal to $5: This screens out the low-priced stocks.
Average 20-day volume greater than or equal to 50,000: High trading volume implies that the stocks have adequate liquidity.
The above criteria narrowed down the universe of around 7,735 stocks to only nine. Here are the top four stocks:
Odonate Therapeutics, Inc. (ODT - Free Report) , a pharmaceutical company, develops therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 23.9%, higher than the Medical - Drugs industry’s estimated rally of 9.2%.
Novavax, Inc. (NVAX - Free Report) , a late-stage biotechnology company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. The company has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 61.7% against the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s projected decline of 14.7%.
Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (BZH - Free Report) operates as a homebuilder in the United States. The company has a Zacks Rank #3. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter is 23.1% against the Building Products - Home Builders industry’s projected decline of 16.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) operates as a visual computing company globally. It operates through two segments, GPU and Tegra Processor. The company has a Zacks Rank #3. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter is 108.8%, higher than the Semiconductor - General industry’s projected rally of 3.3%.
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Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance