A Trio of Stocks for Growth-Oriented Investors

These companies have grown their trailing 12-month net earnings per share significantly

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Jun 21, 2022
Summary
  • Growth-oriented investors looking for bargains could find opportunities in Coterra Energy Inc., Chevron Corp and Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Wall Street is positive about these companies that are growing their earnings.
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Growth-oriented investors may want to consider the following stocks, since they represent businesses with price-earnings ratios below 20 that recorded significant improvements in their trailing 12-month net earnings per share over the past year and are recommended by Wall Street analysts.

Coterra Energy Inc.

The first company that qualifies is Coterra Energy Inc. (

CTRA, Financial), an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Houston, Texas, which has proven reserves of approximately 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent. These mineral reserves are located in Pennsylvania, in the Permian Basin and in the Anadarko Basin.

Trailing 12-month net earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 31 was $2.69 per diluted share, an increase from 68 cents in the prior-year quarter.

The price-earnings ratio is 12.40 (versus the industry median of 10.89) as of Friday.

Following a 65.36% increase over the past year, the stock traded at $26.54 per share at close on Friday for a market capitalization of $21.39 billion and a 52-week range of $14.28 to $36.55.

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GuruFocus assigned a score of 6 out of 10 to the company's financial strength and 8 out of 10 to its profitability.

On Wall Street, the stock has a median recommendation rating of overweight and an average target price of $39 per share.

Vanguard Group Inc. is the largest top fund holder of the company with 11.38% of total shares outstanding. The investment firm is followed by Capital World Investors with 10.44% and BlackRock Inc. with 8.29% of shares outstanding.

Chevron Corp

The second company that makes the cut is Chevron Corp. (

CVX, Financial), a San Ramon, California-based integrated oil and gas producer. The fossil fuel operators engage in upstream, midstream and downstream activities worldwide.

Trailing 12-month net earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 31 was $10.64 per diluted share, a positive turnaround from a net loss of $4.12 in the prior-year quarter.

The price-earnings ratio is 13.95 (versus the industry median of 10.89) as of Friday.

After a 39.45% increase that occurred over the past year, the stock was trading around $148.38 per share on Friday for a market capitalization of $291.54 billion and a 52-week range of $92.86 to $182.40.

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GuruFocus assigned a score of 7 out of 10 to both the company's financial strength and its profitability.

On Wall Street, the stock has a median recommendation rating of overweight with an average target price of $185.12 per share.

Among the top fund holders of the company, Vanguard Group Inc. is the largest with 8.54% of shares outstanding, followed by

Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) with 8.10% and State Street Corp with 7.02%.

Merck & Co. Inc.

The third company that matches the criteria is Merck & Co. Inc. (

MRK, Financial), a Kenilworth, New Jersey-based global health care company.

Trailing 12-month net earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 31 was $5.48 per diluted share, an increase of 190% from $1.89 in the same quarter of 2021.

The price-earnings ratio is 15.14 (versus the industry median of 20.75) as of Friday.

Following an 11.06% increase over the past year, the stock was trading around $84.62 per share at close on Friday for a market capitalization of $213.99 billion and a 52-week range of $70.89 to $94.92.

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GuruFocus assigned a score of 6 out of 10 to the company's financial strength and 8 out of 10 to its profitability.

On Wall Street, the stock has a median recommendation rating of overweight and an average target price of $98.11 per share.

Vanguard Group Inc. is the largest guru shareholder of the company with 8.55% of total shares outstanding, followed by BlackRock Inc. with 8.07% and State Street Corp with 4.68%.

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