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Have you been paying attention to shares of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 4.2% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $13.46 in the previous session. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals has gained 17.7% since the start of the year compared to the -0.9% move for the Zacks Medical sector and the -9.2% return for the Zacks Medical - Drugs industry.
What's Driving the Outperformance?
The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on May 6, 2021, Ironwood reported EPS of $0.24 versus consensus estimate of $0.22 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 3.82%.
For the current fiscal year, Ironwood is expected to post earnings of $1.08 per share on $401.74 million in revenues. This represents a 36.71% change in EPS on a 3.14% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $1.2 per share on $434.81 million in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 11.19% and 8.23%, respectively.
Ironwood may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.
On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.
Ironwood has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are A and C, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of A.
In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 12.5X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 16.4X versus its peer group's average of 14.3X. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.
We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Ironwood currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.
Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Ironwood passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Ironwood shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.
How Does Ironwood Stack Up to the Competition?
Shares of Ironwood have been rising, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also looking good, including Recro Pharma (REPH), SciSparc Ltd. Sponsored (SPRCY), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.
However, it is worth noting that the Zacks Industry Rank for this group is in the bottom half of the ranking, so it isn't all good news for Ironwood. Still, the fundamentals for Ironwood are promising, and it still has potential despite being at a 52-week high.
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Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IRWD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Recro Pharma, Inc. (REPH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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