Zacks: Why ITT Is A Strong Buy


DETROIT, Mich.–ITT, according to investment research service Zacks, is on a list of “strong buy” stocks recommended by its proprietary rating 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 supplier of parts and services to a wide variety of industries is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

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 ITT is 5.5%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company’s EPS is expected to grow 11.2% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 2.9%.

Cash Flow Growth

While cash is the lifeblood of any business, higher-than-average cash flow growth is more important and beneficial for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That’s because, growth in cash flow enables these companies to expand their businesses without depending on expensive outside funds.

Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for ITT is 18.1%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 9%.

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 7.7% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 5.7%.

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 ITT have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.7% over the past month.

Bottom Line

ITT has not only earned a Growth Score of A 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.

This combination positions ITT well for out-performance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.

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David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.