Shares of Otter Tail (OTTR) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 7.8% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $60.75 in the previous session. Otter Tail has gained 42.2% since the start of the year compared to the 5.5% move for the Zacks Utilities sector and the 5.5% return for the Zacks Utility - Electric Power 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 August 2, 2021, Otter Tail reported EPS of $1.01 versus consensus estimate of $0.55.
For the current fiscal year, Otter Tail is expected to post earnings of $3.58 per share on $1.12 billion in revenues. This represents a 52.99% change in EPS on a 26.05% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $3.56 per share on $1.14 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of -0.56% and 1.89%, respectively.
Otter Tail 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 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.
Otter Tail has a Value Score of C. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and C, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.
In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 16.9X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 14X versus its peer group's average of 8.1X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 3.6. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.
We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Otter Tail 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 Otter Tail passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Otter Tail shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Otter Tail Corporation (OTTR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.