First Advantage Corporation (NASDAQ: FA) stock jumped 2.62% on Wednesday to $12.93 against a previous-day closing price of $12.60. With 0.49 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 0.55 million shares. During the session, the Specialty Business Services company that operates in wider Industrials sector, reached to the highest price of $13.06 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $12.50. The 52-week range on FA shows that it touched its highest point at $21.01 and its lowest point at $10.07 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $15.44.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of FA was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 3.36%, but this was down by -5.00% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -14.20% while six-month performance fell -11.13%. The stock lost -29.34% in the past year, while it has lost -32.09% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for FA yields 0.39 with Next year EPS estimates of 1.04. For the next quarter, that number is 0.29. This implies an EPS growth rate of 120.20% for this year and 1.86% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 6.35% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of -37.00%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 150.93 million FA shares are outstanding with a float of 146.64 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 2.45 million, which was 1.60% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Scott Staples as the firm’s CEO & Director, Mr. David L. Gamsey serves as its CFO & Exec. VP.
Through their ownership of 93.99% of FA’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 62.12% of FA, in contrast to 25.69% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 10.01%. As the largest shareholder in FA with 3.38% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 5,175,834 shares worth 5,175,834. A second-largest stockholder of FA, JPMorgan Investment Management, I, holds 4,960,300 shares, controlling over 3.24% of the firm’s shares. BAMCO, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in FA, holding 4,000,000 shares or 2.61% stake. With a 3.38% stake in FA, the American Funds Small Cap World Fu is the largest stakeholder. A total of 5,176,895 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Baron Small Cap Fund, which owns about 2.61% of FA stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 4,000,000 shares valued at 56.2 million. JPMorgan Small Cap Equity Fund holds 2.02% of the stake in FA, owning 3,088,719 shares worth 43.4 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for FA since 8 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 5 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With FA analysts setting a high price target of $17.00 and a low target of $13.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $14.79. Based on these targets, FA could surge 31.48% to reach the target high and rise by 0.54% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 14.39% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. FA will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/24/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $1.03 being high and $1.02 being low. For FA, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $1.02. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. First Advantage Corporation surprised analysts by -$0.02 when it reported $0.26 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.28. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was -$0.00. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.30 and the low estimate is $0.29. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.29.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded FA stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 6 while that of sell transactions has risen to 2 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 60,090 while 2,436 shares were sold.