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Is Central Garden & Pet (CENTA) Stock Outpacing Its Consumer Discretionary Peers This Year?

The Consumer Discretionary group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Is Central Garden (CENTA) one of those stocks right now? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Consumer Discretionary sector should help us answer this question.

Central Garden is one of 282 individual stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #11 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Central Garden is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CENTA's full-year earnings has moved 10% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.


Our latest available data shows that CENTA has returned about 14% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the Consumer Discretionary sector has returned an average of 11.6% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Central Garden is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

One other Consumer Discretionary stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is New Oriental Education (EDU). The stock is up 55.8% year-to-date.

For New Oriental Education, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 41.2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

To break things down more, Central Garden belongs to the Consumer Products - Discretionary industry, a group that includes 26 individual companies and currently sits at #99 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 8.3% so far this year, so CENTA is performing better in this area.

In contrast, New Oriental Education falls under the Schools industry. Currently, this industry has 18 stocks and is ranked #31. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +16.1%.

Investors with an interest in Consumer Discretionary stocks should continue to track Central Garden and New Oriental Education. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance.

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Zacks Investment Research