Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Looking for a Growth Stock? 3 Reasons Why Saia (SAIA) is a Solid Choice

Saia (SAIA) could produce exceptional returns because of its solid growth attributes.

By
This story originally appeared on Zacks

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.

- Zacks

In addition to volatility, these stocks carry above-average risk by their very nature. Also, one could end up losing from a stock whose growth story is actually over or nearing its end.

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.

Our proprietary system currently recommends Saia (SAIA) as one such stock. This 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 trucking 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. 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 Saia is 30.3%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 53.1% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 51%.

Cash Flow Growth

Cash is the lifeblood of any business, but higher-than-average cash flow growth is more beneficial and important for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That's because, high cash accumulation enables these companies to undertake new projects without raising expensive outside funds.

Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for Saia is 18.2%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 6.3%.

While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it's worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company's annualized cash flow growth rate has been 18.1% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 7.1%.

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.

The current-year earnings estimates for Saia have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 1.1% over the past month.

Bottom Line

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



Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double"

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>



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

 

Saia, Inc. (SAIA): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.