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Service Corp. (SCI) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of Service Corporation International (SCI)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 12.7% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $69.51 in the previous session. Service Corporation International has gained 39.5% since the start of the year compared to the 2.3% move for the Zacks Consumer Staples sector and the 34.3% return for the Zacks Funeral Services industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great 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 October 27, 2021, Service Corp. reported EPS of $1.16 versus consensus estimate of $0.63 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 12.01%.

For the current fiscal year, Service Corp. is expected to post earnings of $3.81 per share on $3.89 billion in revenues. This represents a 30.93% change in EPS on a 10.77% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $2.76 per share on $3.5 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of -27.56% and -10.1%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Service Corp. 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 has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb 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. Investors should consider the style scores a valuable tool that can help you to pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Service Corp. has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are C and B, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 18X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 15.1X versus its peer group's average of 12.1X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 2.49. 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, Service Corp. currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to favorable earnings estimate revisions from covering analysts.

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 Service Corp. meets the list of requirements. Thus, it seems as though Service Corp. shares could still be poised for more gains ahead.


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