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Looking for a Growth Stock? 3 Reasons Why Tree.com (TREE) is a Solid Choice

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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.

That's because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

However, the task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy with the help of 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.

Tree.com (TREE - 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.

Studies have shown that stocks with the best growth features consistently outperform 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.

While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this mortgage lending service provider is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

Earnings Growth

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

While the historical EPS growth rate for Tree.com is 6.5%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 21% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 4.4%.

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, Tree.com has an S/TA ratio of 1.13, which means that the company gets $1.13 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.15, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Tree.com looks attractive from a sales growth perspective as well. The company's sales are expected to grow 15.3% 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 Tree.com. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.6% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Tree.com a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of A 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 positions Tree.com well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.


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