Earnings Season is a Virtual Candy Store for Investors

It’s earnings season, and it’s a great time to peruse the stock market looking for companies generating earnings growth.

In the equity markets, everything is relative. You can have a company generating 40% in earnings growth, and the stock might go down. Alternatively, you can have a company generate 12% in earnings growth, and the stock takes off.

Most importantly, as an individual investor, you need to not only do your homework about a company’s operations, but also familiarize yourself with the stock’s trading action. It is always useful to follow a stock for while before committing a position.

Speaking of earnings, Luxottica Group S.p.A. (NYSE/LUX) reported excellent financial growth in its latest quarter. This large- cap Italian company makes all kinds of designer eyewear (I just can’t shake the eye care investment theme!) and looks well positioned for continued success over the next several years.

The company reported third quarter consolidated sales growth of an impressive 47% to 1.07 billion euros. Net income grew a solid 16% to 89.3 million euros, and the company reported that it is doing very well in the Asia Pacific market.

Another interesting company that’s growing is VASCO Data Security Intl. Inc. (NASDAQ/SC/VDSI). This small-cap technology company trades on the NASDAQ Small-Cap Market and provides security products for portable devices like PCs and mobile phones.

This company’s revenues for the third quarter of 2005 increased 79% to $13.27 million, up strongly from revenues of $7.4 million in 2004. Net income for the third quarter was $1.75 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, representing an increase of 52% over its third quarter net income in 2004.

As I’ve mentioned before, earnings season is an excellent time to be looking for new investment opportunities. As a full-time investment analyst, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Even though the broader market hasn’t been doing much lately, there’s no doubt that there are great companies out there generating impressive growth.