When it comes down to it, investors are focused on a single factor: a stock’s ability to deliver returns. As Wall Street observers gauge the strength of a particular investment opportunity, often, they will filter out the noise and instead, concentrate their attention on its long-term growth prospects. We are referring to whether or not a name can achieve sustainable growth over the long haul, handsomely rewarding investors in the years to come. So, with this goal in mind, what’s the first step for investors ready to get down to business? It’s narrowing down the multitude of tickers traded in the public market to a select few that represent the pick of the bunch. To make it into this exclusive group, these names should not only have strong long-term growth narratives, but also the analyst community’s support. Setting out on our own search, we used TipRanks database to unmask two stocks with strong growth narratives backed by Wall Street analysts. We’re talking about enough support to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating here. Let’s take a closer look. Emcore Corporation (EMKR) Let’s start at the intersection of the tech and defense industries, two sectors well-known for their profit potential. Emcore is a producer of advanced mixed-signal products, in both optical and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), a technology that supports a range of aerospace and defense systems, especially in navigation, inertial sensing, 5G wireless infrastructure, cloud data, broadband transport, and optoelectronics. Emcore’s status as a growth stock is clear: the shares are up an impressive 193% over the past 12 months. Much of that growth has come since last November, coinciding with the overall reopening of the economy, and the resumption of manufacturing and industrial activity. A look at the company’s earnings shows the foundation of the share growth. Each of the last five fiscal quarters has shown year-over-year revenue growth, and starting in fiscal Q4 of 2020 the company has been reporting positive EPS. In the most recent quarter, fiscal Q2 of 2021, Emcore showed $38.4 million in top-line revenue, up 60% from the year-ago quarter. EPS, which was negative in 2Q20, was given as a positive 13 cents per share in the 2Q report. Craig-Hallum analyst Richard Shannon doesn’t pull any punches in his review of this stock. He writes: “[We] think every micro-cap investor – growth AND value – should own this stock…. EMKR’s opex can maintain near current levels for some time, so with sales growth and GM leverage, we see significant earnings leverage for several quarters. With multiple shots on goal (including LiDAR), earnings power, and a stock trading below 1x F22 sales and at just 6x F22 EV/EPS, this is our favorite micro-cap idea.” In line with these bullish comments, Shannon rates EMKR a Buy, and his $13 price target indicates his confidence in 59% growth for the year ahead. (To watch Shannon’s track record, click here) There are only three recent reviews on this stock – not uncommon for small-cap companies – but all are to Buy, giving Emcore a unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating. The shares are priced at $8.17, and the $10 average price target suggests it has ~22% upside ahead of it. (See EMKR stock analysis on TipRanks) International Game Technology (IGT) Let’s shift gears, and take a look at the gaming industry. Video games, stand alone or online, are big business, and International Game Technology has a finger in most segments of it. The company is the world’s largest designer and maker of casino slot machines, and also provides gaming machines, electronic lotteries, and digital and social gaming. IGT’s operations are world-wide, in more than 100 countries, in government and private lotteries, sports betting, digital gaming, and, of course, traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. The enduring popularity of gaming is clear from IGT’s share appreciation. The stock has gained a robust 209% over the past year. The company has gained as economic activity returned to normal – and especially as casino operators were able to resume operations. In its Q1 earnings release, IGT showed quarterly revenue of $1.015 billion, up 14% from the $885.1 million reported in Q4. Additionally, Q1 marked the first quarter in over a year that revenue grew on a yoy basis, gaining 8%. The company noted global lottery performance, a recovery in global gaming, and acceleration in digital activities as drivers of the higher revenue numbers. The company’s earnings showed an even stronger recovery; at 45 cents per common share, EPS was positive for the first time since Q3 of 2019. IGT also reported a sound balance sheet in Q1, with $251 million in cash from operations, a total that included $204 million in free cash flow, compared to a negative $60 million in free cash one year ago We continue to view Tenable as one of our favorite cyber security names as the company’s expanded product portfolio, cloud strategic focus, high caliber management team, and risk/reward is very compelling at current levels.”. Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli, rated 5-stars by TipRanks, described the recent quarterly report in a note titled, ‘Another Quarter of Outperformance.’ He wrote: “IGT delivered another resounding beat… driven primarily by material outperformance in the lottery segment, as lottery revenue grew 42% y/y on a constant currency basis… we would note, as it pertains to gaming ops, that IGT is more subject than peers, given the geography of key parts of their install base, to restrictions in the 1Q21, and as such, we believe yields can accelerate considerably moving forward…. We believe IGT remains the most attractive risk-reward in our coverage universe, which should attract value oriented investors.” To this end, Santarelli rates IGT a Buy and sets a $32 price target that suggests room for 41% growth this year. (To watch Santarelli’s track record, click here) Once again, we’re looking at a stock with a unanimous opinion from the Wall Street analysts – but this time, there are 4 positive reviews, making the consensus rating a Strong Buy. IGT shares are priced at $22.70, and their $28.50 average price target implies ~26% upside for the next 12 months. (See IGT stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for growth stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
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