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3 Reasons Growth Investors Will Love Landstar (LSTR)

Landstar (LSTR) 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. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.

- 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 task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy 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 Landstar System (LSTR) as one such stock. This 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 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 freight shipper and warehouser 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 Landstar is 16.6%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 86.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 51.5%.

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

Right now, Landstar has an S/TA ratio of 3.31, which means that the company gets $3.31 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.31, 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 Landstar is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 48.2% this year versus the industry average of 18.9%.

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 Landstar. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 2.3% over the past month.

Bottom Line

Landstar has not only earned a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #2 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

This combination indicates that Landstar is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.



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