Author: Zacks Equity Research

BPMC – Blueprint Medicines (BPMC) Up 2.1% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Blueprint Medicines (BPMC Free Report) . Shares have added about 2.1% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Blueprint Medicines due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let’s take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Blueprint Medicines Q4 Earnings Beat, Revenues In Line

Blueprint Medicines reported a loss of $1.53 per share in the fourth quarter of 2020, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.57 but wider than the year-ago quarter’s loss of $1.35.

Total revenues of $34.1 million were down 33.8% year over year mainly due to lower collaboration revenues. The top line was almost in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues include $6 million of net product revenues from the sales of Ayvakit and $0.7 million from Gavreto. Collaboration revenues were $27.4 million, which were primarily drawn from the agreements with CStone and Roche.

Quarter in Detail

Research and development expenses were $77.4 million, down 12.6% from the year-ago quarter’s figure, mainly owing to the reimbursement received from Roche for Gavreto.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $42.5 million, up 31.5% year over year on account of higher personnel fees, infrastructure and other commercial costs.

Blueprint Medicines had cash, cash equivalents and investments worth $1.5 billion as of Dec 31, 2020, marginally higher than $1.4 billion as of Sep 30, 2020.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted -15.38% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Blueprint Medicines has a nice Growth Score of B, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with an A. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Blueprint Medicines has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

CAKE – Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) Up 16.8% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Cheesecake Factory (CAKE Free Report) . Shares have added about 16.8% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Cheesecake Factory due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let’s take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Cheesecake Factory Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Fall Y/Y

The Cheesecake Factory reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results, with earnings and revenues missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as declining on a year-over-year basis.

Earnings & Revenue Discussion

In the quarter under review, adjusted loss per share came in at 32 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 9 cents. In the prior-year quarter, the company had reported adjusted earnings of 58 cents per share. The downside was primarily caused by rise in labor and other operating expenses.

During the fiscal fourth quarter, total revenues of $554.6 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $604 million by 8.2%. Also, the top line declined 20.1% on a year-over-year basis. The decline was primarily attributed to additional dining room closures and capacity restrictions stemming from a rise in COVID-19 cases. During the reported quarter, comps at Cheesecake Factory restaurants declined 19.5% year over year.

Costs in Detail

Cost of sales, as a percentage of revenues, increased 10 basis points (bps) year over year to 22.9% in the fiscal fourth quarter. Labor expenses, as a percentage of total revenues, was 39.3%, up 310 bps from the year-ago quarter’s levels.

Other operating costs represented 30.2% of revenues compared with 26% in the prior-year quarter. General and administrative (G&A) expenses accounted for 7.3% of revenues, up 50 bps from the prior-year quarter’s levels. In the fiscal fourth quarter, pre-opening expenses accounted for 0.5% of revenues, down 40 bps year over year.

Balance Sheet

As of Dec 29, 2020, Cheesecake Factory’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $154.1 million compared with $58.4 million as of Dec 31, 2019.

During the fiscal fourth quarter, the company made payment-in-kind dividend worth $5 million to its convertible preferred stockholders.

Long-term debt totaled $280 million in the fiscal fourth quarter compared with $290 million as on Dec 31, 2019.

Developmental Details

As of Feb 17, the company reopened indoor dining rooms with limited capacity across 80% of its restaurants (which includes 166 Cheesecake Factory locations). Notably, the restaurants are operating at 50% capacity.

Approximately 17% of the company’s restaurants (which includes 39 Cheesecake Factory locations) are operating with reopened patios and social-distancing protocols. While one Cheesecake Factory location is operating in an off-premise only model, three locations have been closed owing to the pandemic.

During the fiscal fourth quarter, the company opened a restaurant in Clearwater, FL. It also opened a culinary dropout and Blanco at additional locations in Arizona. Internationally, the company opened a restaurant in Mexico under a licensing agreement.

Other Business Updates

Since the start of the fiscal first quarter to Feb 16, 2021, comps at Cheesecake Factory (across all operating models) declined approximately 18%. However, for restaurants with reopened indoor dining rooms, comps are down 9% year over year.

2020 Highlights

Total revenues in 2020 came in at $1,983.2 million compared with $2,482.7 million in 2019.

General and administrative expenses in 2020 came in at $157.6 million compared with $160.2 million in 2019.

In 2020, adjusted loss per share came in at $1.49 against earnings of $2.61 in the previous year.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates. The consensus estimate has shifted -3554% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Cheesecake Factory has an average Growth Score of C, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It’s no surprise Cheesecake Factory has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

CF – CF (CF) Up 10.2% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for CF Industries (CF Free Report) . Shares have added about 10.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is CF due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let’s take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

CF Industries’ Earnings & Sales Surpass Estimates in Q4

CF Industries reported a profit of $87 million or 40 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with profits of $55 million or 25 cents in the year-ago quarter. Also, earnings per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 8 cents.

Net sales increased 5% year over year to $1,102 million in the quarter. The figure also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $984.2 million.

Per the company, average selling prices in the reported quarter were lower on a year-over-year basis across most segments due to higher global supply availability. But, sales volume in the fourth quarter was higher than the prior-year quarter’s levels owing to greater supply availability.

Segment Review

Net sales in the Ammonia segment increased 12% year over year to $298 million in the reported quarter. In full year 2020, sales volume increased from prior-year’s levels owing to increased supply availability resulting from higher production and beginning inventories in the year. Average selling prices in 2020 declined due to increased global supply availability.

Sales in the Granular Urea segment increased 39.3% year over year to $333 million. Average selling prices for urea declined for the full year due to increased global supply availability, while sales volume increased due to greater supply availability.

Sales in the UAN segment fell 19% year over year to $272 million. Sales volume in 2020 was in-line with prior-year levels, while average selling prices declined due to higher global supply availability.

Sales in the AN segment declined 4.3% year over year to $112 million. In 2020, sales volumes rose year over year but average selling prices declined due to increased global supply availability.

FY20 Results

Earnings (as reported) for full-year 2020 were $1.47 per share compared with earnings of $2.23 per share a year ago. Net sales fell 10.9% year over year to around $4.1 billion.

Financials

CF Industries’ cash and cash equivalents increased 138% year over year to $683 million at the end of 2020. Long-term debt was $3,712 million at the end of the year, down 6.2% year over year.

Cash flow from operations amounted to $290 million in the reported quarter, down 4% year over year.

Outlook

CF Industries expects nitrogen pricing to be positive in 2021 owing to higher commodity crop futures prices as well as energy prices in Asia and Europe. It expects higher canola plantings in Canada to also support nitrogen demand. Moreover, CF Industries projects higher nitrogen demand in North America for industrial uses. Also, the company sees global nitrogen requirements to remain robust this year, which is likely to be driven by strong demand for urea imports from India and Brazil.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 280% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, CF has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with an A. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, CF has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

COMM – Why Is CommScope (COMM) Up 19% Since Last Earnings Report?

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for CommScope (COMM Free Report) . Shares have added about 19% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is CommScope due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let’s take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

CommScope Q4 Earnings Top Estimates, Revenues Miss

CommScope reported mixed fourth-quarter 2020 results, wherein the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but the bottom line beat the same.

Bottom Line

On a GAAP basis, net income in the December quarter was $9.6 million or 5 cents per share against net loss of $450.5 million or loss of $2.32 per share in the year-ago quarter. The improvement primarily resulted from an operating income.

In 2020, net loss was $629.5 million or loss of $3.20 per share compared with net loss of $973.2 million or loss of $5.02 per share in 2019.

Quarterly adjusted net income came in at $143.8 million or 59 cents per share compared with $106.6 million or 46 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. The bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 14 cents.

Top Line

Quarterly net sales declined 7.3% year over year to $2,131.8 million. This was primarily due to decreases in the Home Networks, and Venue and Campus Networks segments. The top line missed the consensus estimate of $2,199 million.

In 2020, sales inched up 1.1% year over year to $8,435.9 million.

Quarterly Segment Results

Sales in Broadband increased 17.3% year over year to $789.3 million, driven by growth in Network Cable and Connectivity, and Network and Cloud. The segment’s operating income was $104.1 million against operating loss of $145.8 million in the prior-year quarter.

Sales in Home totaled $571 million, down 30.7% year over year due to decline in Home Media Solutions, partly offset by growth in Broadband Connectivity Devices. Operating loss was $8.7 million compared with operating loss of $174.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales in Outdoor Wireless came in at $294.7 million, up 1.1% year over year driven by growth in Macro Tower Solutions, partly offset by declines in Metro Cell Solutions. Operating income was $34.6 million compared with $27.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales in Venue and Campus were $476.8 million, down 6.6% year over year. This was primarily due to declines in Indoor Copper Enterprise and RUCKUS Networks, partly offset by growth in Indoor Fiber Enterprise and Small Cell. Operating loss was $11 million compared with operating loss of $45.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Other Details

Gross profit declined to $715 million from $736.2 million in the year-ago quarter due to lower sales. Total operating expenses in the quarter decreased to $596 million from $1,075.5 million. Operating income was $119 million against operating loss of $339.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $362.2 million compared with $323.6 million a year ago.

The company has announced an initiative, CommScope NEXT. It is a multi-faceted program to drive future growth that outpaces the market, optimize business processes and unlock shareholder value.

Cash Flow & Liquidity

In 2020, CommScope generated $436.2 million of net cash from operations compared with $596.4 million in 2019.

As of Dec 31, 2020, the company had $521.9 million in cash and cash equivalents with $9,488.6 million of long-term debt. This compares with the respective tallies of $598.2 million and $9,800.4 million a year ago. 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted -11.46% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, CommScope has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

CommScope has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

GIII – G-III Apparel's (GIII) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Sales Down Y/Y

Shares of G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (GIII Free Report) grew 3.4% during the trading hours on Mar 18, following its better-than-expected earnings in fourth-quarter fiscal 2021. Notably, the quarter marked the third straight earnings beat. Also, the company’s digital business continued to exhibit strength. The company’s own websites generated solid results for both DKNY and Karl Lagerfeld Paris, with comparable sales growth of about 40%.

Q4 in Detail

G-III Apparel delivered adjusted earnings per share of 47 cents that surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 23 cents. However, the figure suggests a decline of 37.3% from 75 cents earned in the year-ago period. We note that the company delivered GAAP earnings of 30 cents a share, inclusive of a net loss of 17 cents a share from the Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass store operations. It had recorded a net loss of 33 cents a share in the year-ago comparable period.

Markedly, G-III Apparel has completed the restructuring of the retail segment, thereby permanently shutting the Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass stores.

Net sales plunged 30.3% year over year to $526.2 million and lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $534 million, after reporting a beat in the previous quarter. Soft top-line performance can be attributed to a decline in sales at both the wholesale and retail divisions.

Moreover, gross profit declined 25.3% year over year to $187.6 million. However, gross margin of 35.6% increased 230 basis points (bps) from the prior-year period, mainly driven by a higher gross margin in the Wholesale segment, partly offset by a contraction in the metric at the Retail unit.

However, SG&A expenses declined nearly 20% year over year to $151 million on cost-control efforts undertaken amid the pandemic. We note that the company has streamlined the headcount in its global wholesale operations.

Further, the company reported operating income of $27.5 million, which decreased about 14.9% from the year-ago quarter.

Over the past three months, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have increased 45.5%, outperforming the industry’s 2.6% growth.

Segmental Performance

Net sales at the Wholesale segment were $488 million, down roughly 23% year over year. However, the segment’s gross margin rose 550 bps to 35.5% from the year-ago quarter, benefiting from the reversals of increased royalties, which were earlier accrued on favorable negotiations with the licensors.

Net sales at the Retail segment totaled $44 million, down nearly 66% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure. The metric included $15 million of sales for the Wilsons Leather and G.H Bass stores compared to $86 million in the prior-year period. The segment’s gross margin also contracted to 32.2% from 45.9% in the year-ago quarter, mainly due to the final stages of store liquidations for Wilsons Leather and G.H Bass outlets.

Other Details

G-III Apparel witnessed accelerating demand for athleisure across its brands throughout the reported quarter. Moreover, it sees opportunities to grow athleisure for its power brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Karl Lagerfeld Paris. The company’s casual offerings have also been driving the sportswear category. Also, the footwear and handbag businesses continued to remain strong.

Recently, the company has also launched the Karl Lagerfeld Paris women’s brand across 75 new doors at Macy’s (M Free Report) . Additionally, the company’s Donna Karan International acquisition appears encouraging. In fact, International is a key growth opportunity for the company.

We note that management is focused on growing the digital business with expansion in the distribution channel. It is on track to drive growth across the digital landscape via investments in internal talent, re-platformed e-commerce sites, improved logistics capabilities along with a new CRM and loyalty program. The company entered fiscal 2022 with a healthy inventory position.

Financial Details

G-III Apparel ended fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $351.9 million and long-term debt of $512.4 million. Total stockholders’ equity was $1,336.2 million. Further, inventories declined nearly 25% to $416.5 million at the end of the reported quarter. At the quarter-end, it had available cash under its credit agreement of about $825 million.

Moreover, the company ended fiscal 2021 with an improved net debt position of $160 million versus $200 million at the end of the prior year.

Outlook

Due to the ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties, management issued guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 only. For the fiscal first quarter, the company projects net sales of roughly $460 million, which suggests an increase of 13.6% from $405.1 million in the year-ago quarter . Excluding sales of $19 million from the shuttered Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass outlets in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, net sales would have been about 19% higher. For the fiscal first quarter, gross margins are likely to significantly improve year over year.

Moreover, GAAP net income is anticipated in a band of 5-15 cents per share against GAAP net loss of 82 cents recorded in the year-ago period.

Don’t Miss These Solid Bets

Gildan Activewear (GIL Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9% and currently, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here..

Crocs (CROX Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything

Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities.

Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.

See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>

CURI – CuriosityStream (CURI) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store?

CuriosityStream (CURI Free Report) is set to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Mar 23.

The company began trading publicly following the business combination with Software Acquisition Group on Oct 15, 2020.

For the quarter, CuriosityStream expects revenues of at least $11.3 million, indicating 69% year-over-year growth.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter loss has widened by a penny to 28 cents per share over the past 30 days.
 

Let’s see how things have shaped up for this announcement.

Factors to Watch

CuriosityStream is expected to have benefited from its unique content distribution strategy through its solid partner base. Its partnership with Tata Sky in India is noteworthy in this regard.

The company’s strong content portfolio is expected to have aided in gaining subscribers. In the third quarter, subscriber base doubled on a year-over-year basis. The momentum is likely to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter.

Moreover, CuriosityStream’s strong presence in Direct Response digital marketing channels is expected to have helped the company in keeping customer acquisition costs lower thereby driving profitability.

What Our Model Indicates

Per the Zacks model, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.

CuriosityStream has an Earnings ESP of -11.50% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Stocks to Consider

Here are a few companies worth considering as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings:

Science Applications International (SAIC Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.35% and a Zacks Rank of 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Solid Biosciences (SLDB Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +19.83% and carries a Zacks Rank of 3, at present.

Evolus (EOLS Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +35.39% and carries a Zacks Rank of 3, currently.

Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything

Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities.

Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.

See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>

EVR – Evercore (EVR) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Shares of Evercore (EVR Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 18.7% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $144.13 in the previous session. Evercore has gained 26.4% since the start of the year compared to the 12.1% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the 26.4% return for the Zacks Financial – Investment Bank industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 3, 2021, Evercore reported EPS of $5.67 versus consensus estimate of $2.29 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 59.52%.

For the current fiscal year, Evercore is expected to post earnings of $9.72 per share on $2.4 billion in revenues. This represents a 1.04% change in EPS on a 5.44% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $10.7 per share on $2.58 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 10.09% and 7.34%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Evercore may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Evercore has a Value Score of B. The stock’s Growth and Momentum Scores are A and F, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 14.3X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 11.5X versus its peer group’s average of 13.4X. This isn’t enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Evercore currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Evercore meets the list of requirements. Thus, it seems as though Evercore shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

ASGN – ASGN Inc (ASGN) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Shares of ASGN (ASGN Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 8.6% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $102.78 in the previous session. ASGN has gained 20.3% since the start of the year compared to the 2.7% move for the Zacks Computer and Technology sector and the 2.3% return for the Zacks Computers – IT Services industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 10, 2021, ASGN Inc reported EPS of $1.31 versus consensus estimate of $1.16.

For the current fiscal year, ASGN Inc is expected to post earnings of $5.25 per share on $4.23 billion in revenues. This represents a 9.15% change in EPS on a 7.12% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $5.91 per share on $4.55 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 12.61% and 7.62%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

ASGN Inc may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

ASGN Inc has a Value Score of B. The stock’s Growth and Momentum Scores are B and F, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 19.1X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 15.4X versus its peer group’s average of 15.4X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 2.01. This isn’t enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, ASGN Inc currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to favorable earnings estimate revisions from covering analysts.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if ASGN Inc passes the test. Thus, it seems as though ASGN Inc shares could still be poised for more gains ahead.

How Does ASGN Inc Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of ASGN Inc have been rising, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also solid potential picks, including CDW (CDW Free Report) , Etsy (ETSY Free Report) , and CACI International (CACI Free Report) , all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

However, it is worth noting that the Zacks Industry Rank for this group is in the bottom half of the ranking, so it isn’t all good news for ASGN Inc. Still, the fundamentals for ASGN Inc are promising, and it still has potential despite being at a 52-week high.

HI – Hillenbrand (HI) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?

Shares of Hillenbrand (HI Free Report) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 16.6% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $52.84 in the previous session. Hillenbrand has gained 28.9% since the start of the year compared to the -0.1% move for the Zacks Consumer Staples sector and the 10.2% return for the Zacks Funeral Services industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 3, 2021, Hillenbrand reported EPS of $0.96 versus consensus estimate of $0.73 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 8.32%.

For the current fiscal year, Hillenbrand is expected to post earnings of $3.47 per share on $2.74 billion in revenues. This represents an 8.78% change in EPS on an 8.98% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $3.47 per share on $2.79 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 0.14% and 1.54%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Hillenbrand may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Hillenbrand has a Value Score of B. The stock’s Growth and Momentum Scores are A and D, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 14.8X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 10.4X versus its peer group’s average of 10.6X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 1.23. This isn’t enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to consider the stock’s Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Hillenbrand currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Hillenbrand passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Hillenbrand shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

How Does Hillenbrand Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of Hillenbrand have been moving higher, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also solid potential picks, including Matthews International (MATW Free Report) , Hillenbrand (HI Free Report) , and Franchise Group (FRG Free Report) , all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 9% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for Hillenbrand, even beyond its own solid fundamental situation.

GS – Goldman (GS) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Have you been paying attention to shares of The Goldman Sachs Group (GS Free Report) ? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 12.3% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $356.85 in the previous session. The Goldman Sachs Group has gained 32% since the start of the year compared to the 12.1% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the 26.4% return for the Zacks Financial – Investment Bank industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on January 19, 2021, Goldman reported EPS of $12.08 versus consensus estimate of $6.99 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 21.63%.

For the current fiscal year, Goldman is expected to post earnings of $30.18 per share on $40.29 billion in revenues. This represents a 21.99% change in EPS on a -9.58% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $32.53 per share on $41.51 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 7.8% and 3.03%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Goldman may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Goldman has a Value Score of B. The stock’s Growth and Momentum Scores are A and B, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of A.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 11.5X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 8.1X versus its peer group’s average of 13.4X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 0.6. This isn’t enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Goldman currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Goldman passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Goldman shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.