Growth stocks are attractive to many investors, as above-average financial growth helps these stocks easily grab the market’s attention and produce exceptional returns. But finding a growth stock that can live up to its true potential can be a tough task.
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 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.
Forward Air (FWRD) 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 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 contractor for the air cargo industry a great growth pick right now.
Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. 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 Forward Air is 2.8%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company’s EPS is expected to grow 104.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 71.5%.
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, Forward Air has an S/TA ratio of 1.47, which means that the company gets $1.47 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.39, it can be said that the company is more efficient.
In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Forward Air is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company’s sales are expected to grow 25.5% this year versus the industry average of 23.4%.
Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions
Beyond the metrics outlined above, investors should consider the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is a plus 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 Forward Air. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 5% over the past month.
While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Forward Air 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.
This combination indicates that Forward Air is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.
Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence
This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report