It doesn't matter your age or experience: taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for all investors. Luckily, Zacks Premium offers several 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 includes access to the Zacks Style Scores as well.
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 given an alphabetic rating of A, B, C, D or F based on their value, growth, and momentum qualities. With this system, an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on, meaning the better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform.
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, on the other hand, are more concerned with a company's financial strength and health, and its future outlook. The Growth Style Score examines things like projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow to find stocks that will experience 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.
If you want a combination of all three Style Scores, then the VGM Score will be your friend. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, helping you find the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum. It's also one of the best indicators to use with the Zacks Rank.
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.
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.
You want to make sure you're buying stocks with the highest likelihood of success, and to do that, you'll need to pick stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B. If you like a stock that only as a #3 (Hold) rank, it should also have Scores of A or B to guarantee as much upside potential as possible.
As mentioned above, the Scores are designed to work with the Zacks Rank, so any change to a company's earnings outlook should be a deciding factor when picking which stocks to buy.
A stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, for instance, even one with Scores of A and B, will still have a declining earnings forecast, and a greater chance its share price will fall too.
Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.
Stock to Watch: Westlake Chemical ( WLK Quick Quote WLK - Free Report)
Houston, TX-based Westlake Corporation is a global producer and supplier of materials and innovative products. The company, in February 2022, changed its name to Westlake Corporation from Westlake Chemical Corporation to reflect its more diversified business portfolio. The company's range of products includes ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, vinyl intermediates, PVC, PVC Pipe, PVC windows, fence and decking components. The company utilizes most of its internally-produced basic chemicals to make higher value-added chemicals and building products.
WLK is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of A.
Additionally, the company could be a top pick for growth investors. WLK has a Growth Style Score of B, forecasting year-over-year earnings growth of 19.5% for the current fiscal year.
Two analysts revised their earnings estimate higher in the last 60 days for fiscal 2022, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0.06 to $18.61 per share. WLK also boasts an average earnings surprise of 1.4%.
With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Growth and VGM Style Scores, WLK should be on investors' short list.