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3 Reasons Why Growth Investors Shouldn't Overlook Meet Group (MEET)

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Investors seek growth stocks to capitalize on above-average growth in financials that help these securities grab the market's attention and produce exceptional returns. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.

In addition to volatility, these stocks carry above-average risk by their very nature. Also, one could end up losing from a stock whose growth story is actually over or nearing its end.

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.

Our proprietary system currently recommends Meet Group (MEET - Free Report) as one such stock. This company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.

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

Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this dating site company 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 Meet Group is 15.7%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 35.4% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 20.7%.

Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio

Growth investors often overlook asset utilization ratio, also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio, but it is an important feature of a real growth stock. This metric shows how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.

Right now, Meet Group has an S/TA ratio of 0.74, which means that the company gets $0.74 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.64, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Meet Group is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 18% this year versus the industry average of 13.4%.

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.

The current-year earnings estimates for Meet Group have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 2.9% over the past month.

Bottom Line

Meet Group has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #2 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.

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

This combination positions Meet Group well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.


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