ICF International (CIQI – Free Report) seems an attractive choice, as it was recently upgraded to Rank 2 of Zacks (Buy). An upward trend in earnings estimates – one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices – triggered this rating change.
Zacks’ rating is based solely on the evolution of a company’s earnings. It tracks EPS estimates for the current year and subsequent years from analysts on the short side covering the stock via a consensus measure – the Zacks consensus estimate.
Individual investors often find it difficult to make decisions based on rating reviews by Wall Street analysts, as these are primarily driven by subjective factors that are difficult to see and measure in real time. In these situations, Zacks’ rating system comes in handy because of the power of a shifting earnings picture to determine short-term stock price movements.
As such, Zacks’ rating upgrade for ICF is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its share price.
Most powerful force impacting stock prices
The change in a company’s future earnings potential, as reflected in revisions to earnings estimates, and the short-term price movement of its stocks have been found to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors partly contributes to this relationship, as these leading professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company’s shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in a higher or lower fair value of a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investing action then leads to a price movement for the stock.
Fundamentally, the rise in earnings estimates and the consequent rise in ICF’s rating implies an improvement in the underlying business of the company. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving trade trend by pushing the stock higher.
Harnessing the Power of Revisions to Profit Estimates
As empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and short-term stock movements, tracking such revisions to make an investment decision could be truly rewarding. This is where Zacks Rank’s proven stock rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.
Zacks Rank’s stock rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to rank stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank # 5 (Strong Sell), has a track impressive externally audited. record high, with Zacks Rank # 1 stocks generating an average annual return of + 25% since 1988. You can see the full list of Zacks # 1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks today here >>>>.
Revisions to profit estimates for ICF
This consulting and technology services provider is expected to earn $ 4.57 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which is a 9.6% year-over-year change.
Analysts have steadily increased their estimates for the ICF. Over the past three months, Zacks’ consensus estimate for the company has risen 1.8%.
Unlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted towards favorable recommendations, Zacks’ rating system maintains an equal proportion of “buy” and “sell” ratings across its universe. more than 4000 actions at any time. Regardless of market conditions, only the 5% of stocks covered by Zacks get a “Strong Buy” rating and the next 15% receive a “Buy” rating. Thus, placing a stock in the top 20% of stocks covered by Zacks indicates its superior function of reviewing earnings estimates, making it a strong candidate for producing above-market returns in the short term.
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Zacks’ ICF upgrade to Rank 2 places it in the top 20% of stocks covered by Zacks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock could rise in the near term.