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3 Reasons Why Nucor (NUE) Is a Great Growth Stock

Nucor (NUE) could produce exceptional returns because of its solid growth attributes.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Growth investors focus on stocks that are seeing above-average financial growth, as this feature helps these securities garner the market's attention and deliver solid returns. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.

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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, it's pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks 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.

Nucor (NUE) is one such stock that our proprietary system currently recommends. The company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also 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.

Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this steel 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 Nucor is 12.6%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 478.8% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 400%.

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, Nucor has an S/TA ratio of 1.24, which means that the company gets $1.24 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.97, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Nucor is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 73.6% this year versus the industry average of 41.2%.

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 Nucor. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 6.2% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Nucor a Zacks Rank #1 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B 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 Nucor well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.



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