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Select Medical (SEM) Shows Fast-paced Momentum But Is Still a Bargain Stock

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Momentum investing is essentially the opposite of the tried-and-tested Wall Street adage -- "buy low and sell high." Investors following this investing style typically avoid betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. They believe instead that one could make far more money in lesser time by "buying high and selling higher."

Who doesn't like betting on fast-moving trending stocks? But determining the right entry point isn't easy. Often, these stocks lose momentum once their valuation moves ahead of their future growth potential. In such a situation, investors find themselves loaded up on expensive shares with limited to no upside or even a downside. So, going all-in on momentum could be risky at times.

A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.

There are several stocks that currently pass through the screen and Select Medical (SEM - Free Report) is one of them. Here are the key reasons why this stock is a great candidate.

Investors' growing interest in a stock is reflected in its recent price increase. A price change of 7.6% over the past four weeks positions the stock of this hospital and rehabilitation center operator well in this regard.

While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. SEM meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 15.4% over the past 12 weeks.

Moreover, the momentum for SEM is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 1.41. This indicates that the stock moves 41% higher than the market in either direction.

Given this price performance, it is no surprise that SEM has a Momentum Score of B, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.

In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped SEM earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, SEM is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. SEM is currently trading at 0.95 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 95 cents for each dollar of sales.

So, SEM appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.

In addition to SEM, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.

This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.

However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.


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