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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla, L Brands, NVIDIA, CrowdStrike and Zscaler

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 30, 2020 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Free Report) , L Brands Inc. (LB - Free Report) , NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA - Free Report) , CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (CRWD - Free Report) and Zscaler Inc. (ZS - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Top Stocks for 2021 That Have Surged More than 100% YTD

U.S. stock markets have performed exceptionally well year to date despite remaining coronavirus-stricken in the last 10 months. The three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — are up 6.5%, 15.6% and 43.8%, respectively. Additionally, the small-cap specific Russell 2000 Index is up 19.6% year to date. The mid-cap centric S&P 400 is up 11.9% so far this year.

Wall Street's broad-based impressive performance, defying the COVID-19 outbreak globally and the resurgence of infections, is unmatched in major global bourses. The approval of two COVID-19 vaccines by the FDA and the President's approval of $900 billion for a new coronavirus-aid package have significantly strengthened market participants' confidence in risky assets like equities.

At this stage, it will be fruitful to invest in those stocks that have skyrocketed in 2020 with a favorable Zacks Rank and have a strong potential for 2021.

A Growing U.S. Economy

The first tranche of the coronavirus-aid package — CARES ACT — came to an end in July. Despite the absence of any new stimulus, the U.S. economy has grown in the last four months albeit at a slow pace.

Net worth of American households reached a fresh all-time high in the third quarter of 2020. On Dec 10, the Fed reported that household net worth surged 3.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter to reach $123.52 trillion. The value of equities increased approximately $2.8 trillion while the value of real estate held by households rose around $430 billion.

The U.S. stock markets have witnessed a V-shaped recovery that has helped Wall Street to confirm a new bull market after exiting a coronavirus-led short bear market. On Dec 28 — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — recorded all-time high closings.

The housing market remained robust primarily due to record-low mortgage rates. The Fed adopted an ultra-dovish monetary stance and reduced the benchmark interest rate to as low as 0-0.25% in March.

The central bank later confirmed that it will maintain this range of the benchmark lending rate until all economic variables return to the pre-pandemic level. The low rate of interest rate significantly reduced mortgage rates enabling consumers to buy houses.

Moreover, in its latest estimation on Dec 23, the Atlanta Fed projected that fourth-quarter 2020 GDP will increase 10.4% after increasing a record 33.4% in the third quarter.

Projections for corporate earnings are also growing since last July. At present, the consensus estimate is that the 2021 earrings of the S&P 500 Index will increase 22% on 7.7% higher revenues after it declined 16.9% in earnings on 3.9% lower revenues in 2020.

Our Top Picks

We have narrowed down our search to five stocks based on four criteria. First, we have selected tech behemoths (market capital > $10 billion) as these companies have a well-established business model and strong brand value. Second, these stocks have skyrocketed more than 100% year to date.

Third, all these stocks have strong growth potential and witnessed robust earnings estimate revisions within the last 60 days, indicating solid business prospects. Finally, each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Tesla has acquired a substantial market share within the electric car segment. Strong performance and impressive design of the firm’s products are ramping up sales volumes. Increasing Model 3 delivery, which forms a major chunk of the automaker’s overall deliveries, is aiding the company’s top-line. Along with Model 3, Model Y is also contributing to its revenues.

The Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 58.9% for next year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings has improved 2% over the last 30 days. The stock has soared 693.3% year to date.

L Brands operates as a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, personal care, and beauty and home fragrance products. It operates in three segments: Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works International.

The Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 22.5% for next year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings has improved 33.2% over the last 60 days. The stock price has advanced 114.2% year to date.

NVIDIA is gaining decent market share among gaming service providers. The strong line-up of advanced graphics cards has made it a favorite graphics card provider among PC makers. Its foray into the autonomous vehicles space is a major positive. NVIDIA’s GPUs are rapidly gaining from the proliferation of artificial intelligence.

The Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 18.7% for next year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has improved 0.4% over the last 30 days. The stock price has climbed 119.3% year to date.

CrowdStrike provides cloud-delivered solutions for next-generation endpoint protection in the United States, Australia, Germany, India, Romania, and the United Kingdom. It offers 11 cloud modules on its Falcon platform through a software -as-a-service subscription-based model that covers various security markets.

The Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 47.2% for next year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings has improved 33.3% over the last 30 days. The stock price has rallied 326.2% year to date.

Zscaler operates as a cloud security company focusing on transforming networks and applications for a mobile and cloud-first platform. The Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 54.2% for the current year (ending July 2021). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 27.6% over the last 30 days. The stock has jumped  328.7% year to date.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers for the entirety of 2021?

These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold. Start Your Access to the New Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.