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.
Zacks Premium also includes 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.
Based on their value, growth, and momentum characteristics, each stock is assigned a rating of A, B, C, D, or F. The better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform; an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on.
The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:
For value investors, it's all about finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value before the broader market catches on. The Value Style Score utilizes ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to help pick out 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 traders and investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." This investing style is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook. Employing factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates, the Momentum Style Score can indicate favorable times to build a position in high-momentum stocks.
What if you like to use all three types of investing? The VGM Score is a combination of all Style Scores, making it one of the most comprehensive indicators to use with the Zacks Rank. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, which helps narrow down the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum.
How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank
The Zacks Rank is a proprietary stock-rating model that harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings expectations, to help investors build 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.
With more than 800 top-rated stocks to choose from, it can certainly feel overwhelming to pick the ones that are right for you and your investing journey.
That's where the Style Scores come in.
To have the best chance of big returns, you'll want to always consider stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B, which will give you the highest probability of success. If you're looking at stocks with a #3 (Hold) rank, it's important they have Scores of A or B as well to ensure as much upside potential as possible.
The direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should always be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy, since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank.
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: Quest Diagnostics ( DGX Quick Quote DGX - Free Report)
Quest Diagnostics, Inc., headquartered in Madison, NJ, is one of the largest providers of commercial laboratory services in North America. The company was spun off from Corning, Inc.’s laboratory testing business in 1996 and has grown primarily through acquisitions and strategic alliances. Quest provides lab testing services primarily to physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations, employers, government institutions, and other independent clinical laboratories.
DGX is a #2 (Buy) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of A.
Additionally, the company could be a top pick for growth investors. DGX has a Growth Style Score of B, forecasting year-over-year earnings growth of 19.2% for the current fiscal year.
For fiscal 2021, seven analysts revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $2.16 to $13.33 per share. DGX boasts an average earnings surprise of 12.3%.
With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Growth and VGM Style Scores, DGX should be on investors' short list.