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Image: Shutterstock featured highlights include: ABM Industries, ManpowerGroup, Builders FirstSource, Signet Jewelers and Tenet Healthcare

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 12, 2021 – Stocks in this week’s article are ABM Industries Incorporated (ABM - Free Report) , ManpowerGroup Inc. (MAN - Free Report) , Builders FirstSource, Inc. (BLDR - Free Report) , Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG - Free Report) and Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC - Free Report) .

5 Broker-Friendly Stocks in View Amid COVID-Led Economic Gloom

It is a well-known fact that the advent of coronavirus last year has slowed down economic activities so far. The COVID-led disruptions hurt almost all corners of the investment world with investors on the edge due to prevalent uncertainties.

This unprecedented crisis is unlikely to end any time soon even though vaccines to combat this deadly disease are now available in the market. With immunization programs having started in a few countries only thus far, it will take a while before inoculating the entire global population. Further adding to the woes is the discovery of a new COVID strain in the United Kingdom last month.

Despite this topsy-turvy scenario, investors will aim for a winning portfolio of stocks so that they garner lucrative returns. Amid the prevalent confusion, it is almost impossible for individual investors to come up with a promising portfolio of stocks without proper guidance. Therefore, it is in their best interest to seek advice from "experts in the field".

The concerned experts are brokers who irrespective of their types (sell-side, buy-side or independent) embark on a thorough research of the stocks under their coverage. They have at their disposal a lot more information on a company and its prospects than individual investors. 

To this end, they go through minute details of the publicly available financial documents apart from attending company conference calls and other presentations.  As a result, a broker's opinion should act as a valuable guide for investors while deciding their course of action (buy, sell or hold) on a particular stock.

The action of brokers is by no means arbitrary and is indeed guided by sound logic. Thus, the direction of estimate revisions serves as an important pointer regarding the price of a stock.

For example, a company's earnings beat generally leads to upward estimate revisions with prices moving north. Similarly, a stock may fall out of analysts' favor due to adverse events like pipeline failure (for a biotech player). Earnings estimate cut by brokers often causes stock price depreciation. Naturally, investors will dump such stocks on the basis of broker assessment.

Revenue Performance not to be Ignored

According to many market watchers, a revenue beat is more creditable for a company than a mere earnings outperformance, especially in an environment of revenue weakness due to macroeconomic headwinds like a strong dollar or lackluster demand for travel (which will weigh on travel-focused companies). Therefore, one must take the top-line performance into consideration as well while formulating a winning strategy. We included in our screen the price/sales ratio, which serves as a strong complementary valuation metric.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

About Screen of the Week created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine.  But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

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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.