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3 Reasons Why Growth Investors Shouldn't Overlook Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK)

Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) possesses solid growth attributes, which could help it handily outperform the market.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

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

- Zacks

By their very nature, these stocks carry above-average risk and volatility. Moreover, if a company's growth story is over or nearing its end, betting on it 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.

Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) 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 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 shipping company is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

Earnings Growth

Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. 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 Star Bulk Carriers is 14%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 3908.8% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 123.2%.

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, Star Bulk Carriers has an S/TA ratio of 0.33, which means that the company gets $0.33 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.22, 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 Star Bulk Carriers is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 91.4% this year versus the industry average of 0%.

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 Star Bulk Carriers. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 8.7% over the past month.

Bottom Line

Star Bulk Carriers 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 Star Bulk Carriers is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors.



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