Taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for new and old investors, and Zacks Premium offers many different ways to do both.
The popular research service can help you become a smarter, more self-assured investor, giving you access to daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens.
It also includes access to the Zacks Style Scores.
What are the Zacks Style Scores?
The Zacks Style Scores is a unique set of guidelines that rates stocks based on three popular investing types, and were developed as complementary indicators for the Zacks Rank. This combination helps investors choose securities with the highest chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.
Each stock is assigned a rating of A, B, C, D, or F based on their value, growth, and momentum characteristics. Just like in school, an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on -- that means the better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform.
The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:
Finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value, are what value investors like to focus on. So, the Value Style Score takes into account ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to highlight the most attractive and discounted stocks.
Growth investors are more concerned with a stock's future prospects, and the overall financial health and strength of a company. Thus, the Growth Style Score analyzes characteristics like projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow to find stocks that will see sustainable growth over time.
Momentum trading is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook, and these investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." The Momentum Style Score can pinpoint good times to build a position in a stock, using factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates.
If you like to use all three kinds of investing, then the VGM Score is for you. It's a combination of all Style Scores, and is an important indicator to use with the Zacks Rank. The VGM Score rates each stock on their shared weighted styles, narrowing down the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum.
How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank
A proprietary stock-rating model, the Zacks Rank utilizes the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings outlook, to help investors create a successful portfolio.
#1 (Strong Buy) stocks have produced an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988, which is more than double the S&P 500's performance over the same time frame. However, the Zacks Rank examines a ton of stocks, and there can be more than 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, and another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.
This totals more than 800 top-rated stocks, and it can be overwhelming to try and pick the best stocks for you and your portfolio.
That's where the Style Scores come in.
To maximize your returns, you want to buy stocks with the highest probability of success. This means picking stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B. If you find yourself looking at stocks with a #3 (Hold) rank, make sure they have Scores of A or B as well to ensure as much upside potential as possible.
Since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank, the direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy.
For instance, a stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, even one that boasts Scores of A and B, still has a downward-trending earnings forecast, and a much greater likelihood its share price will decline as well.
Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.
Stock to Watch: PDC Energy ( PDCE Quick Quote PDCE - Free Report)
PDC Energy, Inc. is an independent upstream operator engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. Headquartered in Denver, CO, the firm is focused on the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and the Delaware Basin in Texas. PDC Energy’s Wattenberg operations are centered around the Niobrara and Codell formations, while the Delaware Basin development primarily targets the Wolfcamp zones. The company, which reached its present form following the January 2020 combination with SRC Energy, is currently the second-largest producer in the Denver-Julesburg (‘DJ’) Basin behind Occidental Petroleum.
PDCE is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of A.
Momentum investors should take note of this Oils-Energy stock. PDCE has a Momentum Style Score of A, and shares are up 10.7% over the past four weeks.
For fiscal 2021, two analysts revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased -$0.02 to $6.03 per share. PDCE boasts an average earnings surprise of 49.1%.
With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Momentum and VGM Style Scores, PDCE should be on investors' short list.