Jefferies Top Growth Stocks to Buy Posted Awesome Q1 Results

May 1, 2017 by 247lee

With May upon us, the first-quarter earnings results are finally starting to wind down, and most of the analysts on Wall Street seem pretty pleased with the overall results. Add that to the fact that earnings growth for the S&P 500 for 2017 is expected to come in at +10.2%, which would be the best growth rates for the venerable index since 2012. It all totals up to the kind of positive scenario that could keep this old and somewhat tired bull market moving forward.

In a series of new research reports from the analysts at Jefferies, the firm’s top growth stocks to buy now are companies that posted very solid first-quarter results, and these are exactly the kind of stocks that investors looking to stay long the stock market need to focus on now.

Alphabet

The search giant continues to expand and is even working on a driverless car now. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is a global technology company focused around key areas, such as search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, enterprise and hardware products. It generates revenue primarily by delivering online advertising and by selling apps and contents on Google Play, as well as hardware products. The company provides its products and services in more than 100 languages and in 190 countries, regions and territories.

Alphabet offers performance and brand advertising services. It operates through Google and Other Bets segments. The Google segment includes principal internet products, such as Search, Ads, Commerce, Maps, YouTube, Apps, Cloud, Android, Chrome and Google Play, as well as technical infrastructure and newer efforts, such as virtual reality.

The analysts point to Google Cloud, which is the largest cloud infrastructure and engages in more technology, infrastructure research and development in headcount and dollars than any other company. That gives it the strength and wherewithal to compete with and differentiate itself from Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure.

The company posted massive earnings this week, hammering analysts’ expectations. Revenue beat on Sites, Networks and Google Other. Paid clicks and CPC also were ahead of consensus. Wall Street is very positive on core margin improvement. Despite approaching $100 billion revenue run-rate, the company shows no signs of slowing down.

The Jefferies price target for the stock is a stunning $1200. The Wall Street consensus price objective is $983.60. The stock closed Friday at $924.52 a share, up almost 4% on the day.

Fleetcor Technologies

The Jefferies team expects this top business service company to report solid earnings this week. Fleetcor Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FLT) provides fuel cards, commercial payment and data solutions, stored value solutions and workforce payment products and services. The company sells a range of customized fleet and lodging payment programs, and it offers card products to purchase fuel, lodging, food, toll, transportation and related products and services at participating locations.

The company also offers telematics solution that allows fleet operators to monitor the capacity utilization and movement of vehicles and drivers, vehicle maintenance services, prepaid fuel and food vouchers and cards, and workforce payment product related to public transportation and toll vouchers.

In addition, it provides proprietary equipment that reduces unauthorized and fraudulent transactions to over-the-road trucking fleets, shipping fleets and other operators of heavily industrialized equipment, including sea-going vessels, mining equipment, agricultural equipment and locomotives.

The analysts noted this in the report:

More interesting is the fact that the company is likely to release incremental metrics on the May 3rd earnings-per-share call to help disprove bear claims that US small fleet fees represent a large percentage of the company’s revenue. We look for 18% EPS growth for the company in 2017.

Jefferies has a $197 price target for the stock, and the posted consensus target is $187.03. The stock closed last Friday at $141.14 per share.

PayPal

This stock has long been a Jefferies favorite and it continues to deliver solid results. PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) operates as a technology platform company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants worldwide.

PayPal enables businesses of various sizes to accept payments from merchant websites, mobile devices and applications, as well as at offline retail locations through a range of payment solutions across company’s payments platform, including PayPal, PayPal Credit, Venmo and Braintree products. Its platform allows customers to pay and get paid, withdraw funds to their bank accounts and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in various currencies.

The analysts noted this in their report:

PayPal reported first quarter results last week, beating expectations and raising fiscal year earnings-per-share guidance ahead of our and consensus estimates. The Company was able to offset transition margin pressure with operating expense leverage. Company added 6 million active accounts, the highest number in several years.

The $52 Jefferies price objective compares with the consensus target price of $50.08, as well as the most recently closing price of $47.72 a share.

Under Armour

This is apparel leader has struggled mightily over the past year and finally may be turning the corner. Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) bills itself as the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment that has revolutionized how athletes across the world dress.

Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels. The Under Armour Connected Fitness platform powers the world’s largest digital health and fitness community through a suite of applications: UA Record, MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal.

The company finally gave shareholders are positive earnings release, and Jefferies noted this in the report:

The Company posted a beat with top-line growth meeting expectations, better than expected gross margins and fewer apparel markdowns. Under Armour reaffirmed its prior annual guide and expects 11-12% revenue growth versus the Street currently at 10.9%. Our store checks, web scrapes and survey work continues to support our thesis that an inflection is forming.

The Jefferies price target is $28. The consensus target is $21.26, and the shares closed most recently at $21.49.

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These four top stocks to buy range from a tech behemoth to a rebounding top apparel stock. All of them offer decent value in a very pricey stock market. These stocks are best suited for aggressive growth accounts with reasonable risk tolerance.