Accelerated Earnings Growth, But What’s Ahead for American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT)

Shares of American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT) have been experiencing an accelerated earnings and sales growth over the past 5 years.  Over that time frame the firm has seen earnings growth of 9.60% and sales growth of 5.30%.

An important idea when dealing with technical analysis is that historical stock price movements tend to repeat. Technical analysis focuses on chart patterns with the goal of analyzing market movements and defining trends. Charting has been around for many years, and even older methods are considered to be relevant due to the nature of repeating patterns. Certain trends may be easier to spot than others. Technical analysts that spend vast amounts of studying charts and patterns may be more adept at spotting specific trends. Investors may want to employ multiple methods of trend spotting in order to get a more robust spectrum with which to work.

While the firm has enjoyed the upward movement, it’s important to look at analyst expectations and where the company is headed from here.  On a consensus basis, analysts are projecting EPS growth of 22.34% for next year and have a $50.33 one year price target on the stock.   The stock recently traded at $47.77.

 Six Fundamental Characteristics of Great Growth Stocks

#6 Huge Mass Markets – The more potential customers there are, the greater the possibility that both the company, and the investment in said company, will be a success. 

#5 Market Dominance/Barriers to Entry – Look for companies who hold patents.  This is great barrier to entry, ensuring no competition.  Look for companies who dominate the market, blowing away the competition, though market dominance can be harder to measure. 

#4 Accelerating Earnings Growth – If a company’s earnings growth rate increases for two consecutive quarters, their growth is accelerating.  Faster growth is better growth, and a company whose earnings growth rate is accelerating is an attractive investment.

#3 Triple-Digit Revenue Growth – Companies growing their revenues at triple-digit rates (100% or better) are usually smaller and less known, making them attractive for buying by institutions. 

#2 High Profit Margins – In recent decades, high-margin stocks have beaten low-margin stocks by a huge amount. 

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#1 Top Notch, Innovative Management – All great managers who led their companies to success usually did so by thinking differently.  There is no surefire and quick measurement of management talent.  When you find a top manager, one with a record of prior success and accolades, you should strike.  Top managers usually find a way to overcome obstacles. 

RECENT PERFORMANCE

Let’s take a look at how the stock has been performing recently.  Over the past twelve months, American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT)‘s stock was 18.92%.  Over the last week of the month, it was 2.12%, 2.49% over the last quarter, and  5.45% for the past six months. 

Earnings Per Share (EPS):

EPS is what each share is worth and indicates how much money their sharehoders would acquire if the company was to pay out all of its profits.  Earnings Per Share is computed by dividing the profit total by its share total.  If a company’s profit is $800 million and there are 40 million shares, then the EPS is $20.  EPS is a fantastic way to compare and contrast companies in the same industry.  When a company shows a steady upwards earnings trend, it is a good indicator that the company will dominate companies with a more volatile earnings trend. American Assets Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AAT)’s EPS is 0.78.  Last year, their EPS growth was -32.60% while their EPS growth over the past five years is 9.60%.  Analysts are predicting American Assets Trust, Inc.’s stock to grow 22.34% over the next year and 3.00% over the next five.

Investing in the stock market has traditionally offered higher returns than other types of investments. With the higher potential for returns, there is also a higher risk factor. Investors typically need to address their own personal risk situation before jumping into the market. Figuring out risk appetite can help when choosing which types of stocks to buy. Some investors will decide that they want to take a chance on certain stocks that have the potential to outperform in the future. Other investors may opt to play it safe and build a portfolio with low risk, staple stocks. 
 
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