Investors interested in Finance stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. Is Hercules Capital (HTGC) one of those stocks right now? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Finance peers, we might be able to answer that question.
Hercules Capital is one of 847 companies in the Finance group. The Finance group currently sits at #9 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.
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. Hercules Capital is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for HTGC's full-year earnings has moved 2.2% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.
Based on the most recent data, HTGC has returned 18% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of 9.5% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Hercules Capital is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Assured Guaranty (AGO). The stock has returned 9.7% year-to-date.
Over the past three months, Assured Guaranty's consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 59.7%. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
To break things down more, Hercules Capital belongs to the Financial - SBIC & Commercial Industry industry, a group that includes 34 individual companies and currently sits at #13 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 21.4% this year, meaning that HTGC is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns.
In contrast, Assured Guaranty falls under the Insurance - Multi line industry. Currently, this industry has 34 stocks and is ranked #29. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +2.4%.
Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to Hercules Capital and Assured Guaranty as they could maintain their solid performance.
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