3 Reasons Why Growth Investors Shouldn't Overlook Exelixis (EXEL)
Exelixis (EXEL) possesses solid growth attributes, which could help it handily outperform the market.
Investors seek growth stocks to capitalize on above-average growth in financials that help these securities grab the market's attention and produce exceptional returns. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.
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.
Exelixis (EXEL) is on the list of such stocks currently recommended by our proprietary system. In addition to a favorable Growth Score, it 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.
While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this drug developer is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:
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 Exelixis is 15.3%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 101.4% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 10.9%.
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 shows how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.
Right now, Exelixis has an S/TA ratio of 0.56, which means that the company gets $0.56 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.17, 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 Exelixis is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 43% this year versus the industry average of 10.9%.
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 Exelixis have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 2.7% over the past month.
While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Exelixis 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.
This combination positions Exelixis well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.
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