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Woodward (WWD) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Have you been paying attention to shares of Woodward (WWD)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 13.5% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $114.55 in the previous session. Woodward has gained 46.6% since the start of the year compared to the 23% move for the Zacks Computer and Technology sector and the 23.2% return for the Zacks Instruments - Control industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on April 29, 2019, Woodward reported EPS of $1.4 versus consensus estimate of $1.05.

For the current fiscal year, Woodward is expected to post earnings of $4.76 per share on $2.73 billion in revenues. This represents a 23.64% change in EPS on a 17.43% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $5.38 per share on $2.93 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 13.09% and 7.14%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Woodward may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Woodward has a Value Score of D. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and A, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 22.9X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 18.6X versus its peer group's average of 14.4X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 1.78. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Woodward currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Woodward passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Woodward shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.


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