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Is Dillard's (DDS) a Solid Growth Stock? 3 Reasons to Think " Yes "

Dillard's (DDS) is well positioned to outperform the market, as it exhibits above-average growth in financials.

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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. But finding a growth stock that can live up to its true potential can be a tough task.

- Zacks

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.

Dillard's (DDS) 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.

Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat 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 department store operator 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 Dillard's is 21.2%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 962.1% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 602.9%.

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 exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.

Right now, Dillard's has an S/TA ratio of 1.65, which means that the company gets $1.65 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.18, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

While the level of efficiency in generating sales matters a lot, so does the sales growth of a company. And Dillard's is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 42.1% this year versus the industry average of 28%.

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.

The current-year earnings estimates for Dillard's have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 55.2% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Dillard's 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 Dillard's well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.



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