Charles River Associates (CRAI - Free Report) performed well in the trailing six-month period and has the potential to carry the momentum forward. Consequently, if you haven’t taken advantage of its share price appreciation yet, it’s time you add the stock to your portfolio.
Let’s take a look at the factors that make the stock an attractive pick.
Share Price Performance: A glimpse at the company’s price trend reveals that the stock has had an impressive run in the past six months. Shares of Charles River have gained 6.2% in the said period against industry’s decline of 20.1%.
Solid Rank & VGM Score: The consulting services stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of B. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy) offer the best investment opportunities. Thus, the company appears to be an appropriate investment proposition at the moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Northward Estimate Revisions: For 2020, two estimates moved north in the past 60 days versus no southward revision that reflects analysts’ optimism in the company. Over the same period, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 climbed 0.9%.
Positive Earnings Surprise History: Charles River has an impressive surprise history. It surpassed earnings estimates twice in the trailing four quarters and missed the same in the remaining two quarters with a positive surprise of 9.08%, on average.
Solid Prospects: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings is pegged at $3.3, which indicates year-over-year growth of 10.6%. Moreover, earnings are expected to register 8.1% growth in 2021. The stock has long-term expected earnings per share (EPS) growth rate of 13%.
Growth Factors: Charles River has a strong international presence that enables it to work with world’s leading professionals on multiple aspects. This enables the company to enhance its knowledge base and areas of functional expertise as well as contributes significantly to the top line. The key areas of focus for the company is to strike a balance and implement growth across the organization through optimum organic and inorganic means; strengthening client relationships within two lines of business; along with simplifying internal processes.
Charles River has a consistent record of boosting shareholders’ value in the form of dividend and share repurchases. In 2019, 2018 and 2017, the company paid out dividends worth $6.54 million, $5.78 million and $4.94 million, respectively. It repurchased shares worth $18.1 million, $27.9 million and $19.5 million, during 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other top-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are S&P Global Inc. (SPGI - Free Report) , Genpact Limited (G - Free Report) and Blucora, Inc. (BCOR - Free Report) . All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2.
Long-term expected EPS (three to five years) growth rate for S&P Global, Genpact and Blucora are 10%, 13.98% and 20%, respectively.
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