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Alberto Abaterusso
Alberto Abaterusso
Articles (2470) 

A Trio of Stocks for Growth-Focused Investors

These companies have grown their earnings over the past year

November 23, 2020 | About:

Investors who focus on growth may be interested in the following stocks since their price-earnings ratios are trading below 20 and their trailing 12-month earnings per share have grown substantially over the past year.

Merck

The first company investors may be interested in is Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), the Kenilworth, New Jersey-based drug giant.

The company's trailing 12-month net earnings have grown by 26.3% on a year-over-year basis to $4.52 per share as of the third quarter of 2020, up from $3.58 per share in the same quarter of 2019.

The price-earnings ratio was 17.79 (versus the industry median of 23.69) as of Nov. 20.

Following a 6.11% decrease over the past year, the stock was trading at $80.45 per share at close on Friday for a market capitalization of $203.47 billion and a 52-week range of $65.25 to $92.64.

On Jan. 8, Merck will distribute a quarterly cash dividend of 65 cents per common share for a forward dividend yield of 3.23% as of Friday.

GuruFocus rated the financial strength of the company with a score of 5 out of 10 and the profitability with a score of 8 out of 10.

On Wall Street, the stock has an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $95.89 per share.

Lockheed Martin

The second company investors may be interested in is Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT), the Bethesda, Maryland-based aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company.

The company's trailing 12-month net earnings increased by 11.1% to $23.41 per share as of the third quarter of 2020, up from $21.04 per share in the prior-year quarter.

The price-earnings ratio was 15.72 (versus the industry median of 25.05) as of Nov. 20.

Following a 19.3% decrease over the past year, the stock traded at $368.02 per share at close on Friday for a market capitalization of $103.70 billion and a 52-week range of $266.11 to $442.53.

On Dec. 24, Lockheed Martin will pay a quarterly cash dividend of $2.6 per common share for a forward dividend yield of 2.83% as of Friday.

GuruFocus assigned a score of 5 out of 10 to the company's financial strength and a score of 8 out of 10 to its profitability.

On Wall Street, the stock has an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $433.50 per share.

Vodafone Group

The third company investors may be interested in is Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ:VOD), the U.K.-based telecommunication services company with operations in Europe and internationally.

The company's trailing 12-month net earnings were about 10 cents per share as of the third quarter of 2020, representing a positive shift from a net loss of 8 cents per share as of the year-ago quarter.

The price-earnings ratio was 16.47 (versus the industry median of 19.45) as of Nov. 20.

After a 19.4% decrease over the past year, the stock closed at $16.47 on Friday for a market capitalization of $43.82 billion and a 52-week range of $11.46 to $21.72.

On Feb. 5, 2021, Vodafone will pay a semi-annual cash dividend of 53.2 cents per share for a forward dividend yield of 6.46% as of Friday.

GuruFocus assigned a score of 4 out of 10 for the company's financial strength and a score of 5 out of 10 for its profitability.

On Wall Street, the stock has an overweight recommendation rating with an average target price of $22.55.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

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About the author:

Alberto Abaterusso
I am a contributor at GuruFocus. I primarily write about how to pick potential value stocks. Gold, silver and precious metals mining industries is also my cup of tea. My articles have also been widely linked by popular sites, including MarketWatch, Financial Times, 24hGold, Investopedia, Financial.org, CNBS, MSN Money, Zachs, Reuters and others. I hold a Master\\\'s Degree in Business Administration from Università degli Studi di Bari (Italy), Aldo Moro. I am based in The Netherlands.

You can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AAbaterusso

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