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Image: Bigstock featured highlights include Virco, Lifeway Foods, Vistra, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Consolidated Water

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 27, 2023 – Stocks in this week’s article are Virco Mfg. Corp. (VIRC - Free Report) , Lifeway Foods Inc. (LWAY - Free Report) , Vistra Corp. (VST - Free Report) , Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (BBW - Free Report) and Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO - Free Report) .

5 Stocks with Recent Price Strength in a Volatile September

September is historically known as Wall Street's worst-performing month and this year is no exception. Market participants were mulling over the end of the ongoing rate hike cycle and the relaxation of restrictive monetary policies. However, this month's post-FOMC meeting statement by Jerome Powell has dampened investors' sentiments.

Although the Fed paused its rate hike in the September FOMC meeting, the current dot-plot has shown a strong likelihood of one more hike of 25 basis points in 2023. That will take the terminal interest rate of this hiking cycle to 5.6%, well above the 5.1% forecast in June. Notably, the current range of the Fed fund rate is at the highest level since March 2001.

More importantly, the central bank said it would keep interest rates higher for a longer time period. The new projection showed two maximum rate cuts in 2024 instead of four projected in June. The first cut in interest rate is not expected before September 2024. A higher interest rate regime for a longer period is detrimental to investment in equities.

Despite severe volatility, a handful of stocks have shown price strength. We have selected five stocks likely to gain in the near term on the back of a favorable Zacks Rank. These companies are — Virco Mfg. Corp., Lifeway Foods Inc., Vistra Corp., Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. and Consolidated Water Co. Ltd.

Here's How We Arrived at the Picks

We have primarily targeted stocks that have freshly been on a bull run. Stocks seeing price strength recently have a high chance of carrying the momentum forward.

If a stock is continuously witnessing an uptrend, there must be a solid reason or it would have probably crashed. So, looking at stocks capable of beating the benchmark that they have set for themselves seems rational.

However, recent price strength alone cannot create magic. Therefore, other relevant parameters are needed to create a successful investment strategy.

Here's how you should create the screen to shortlist the current as well as the potential winners.

Let's discuss five out of these 12 stocks:

Virco Mfg. designs, produces, and distributes quality furniture for the contract and education markets worldwide. Examples of facilities served by VIRC include public and private schools, colleges and universities, convention centers, federal and state institutions, churches and other businesses.

VIRC also sell to wholesalers, distributors, retailers and catalog retailers. In order to divide the workload into manageable amounts, VIRC has divided the sales force into two groups: Education and Commercial.

The stock price of Virco Mfg. has soared 45.9% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 9.8% for the current year (ending January 2024). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 38.8% over the past 30 days.

Lifeway Foods produces and markets probiotic-based products in the United States and internationally. LWAY's primary product is drinkable kefir, a cultured dairy product in various organic and non-organic sizes, flavors, and types. LWAY also offers European-style soft cheeses; cream and other products, ProBugs, a line of kefir products designed for children, drinkable yogurt; and freshly made butter and sour cream.

LWAY sells its products under the Lifeway, Glen Oaks Farms, and Fresh Made brand names, as well as under private labels on behalf of customers primarily through direct sales force, brokers, and distributors.

The stock price of Lifeway Foods has climbed 12.7% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 76.5% over the past 30 days.

Vistra operates as an integrated retail electricity and power generation company. VST operates through six segments — Retail, Texas, East, West, Sunset, and Asset Closure. VST is involved in electricity generation, wholesale energy purchases and sales, commodity risk management, fuel production, and fuel logistics management activities. VST retails electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers across 20 states in the United States and the District of Columbia.

The stock price of Vistra has risen 10.3% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 27.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 13.8% over the past seven days.

Build-A-Bear Workshop operates as a multi-channel retailer of plush animals and related products. Build-A-Bear Workshop operates through three segments: Direct-to-Consumer, International Franchising, and Commercial. BBW operates its stores under the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand name and sells products through its e-commerce sites.

The stock price of Build-A-Bear Workshop has advanced 10.1% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 16.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.8% over the past seven days.

Consolidated Water currently utilizes the most advanced technology to convert seawater to potable water and meet customer needs. CWCO is expanding operations via acquisitions and organic projects. The acquisition of full ownership of PERC and the return of tourism to the Cayman Islands are expected to drive earnings. CWCO has enough liquidity to address its short-term debt obligations.

The stock price of Consolidated Water has gained 8.9% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 2.1% over the past 30 days.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.

The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.

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

For the rest of this Screen of the Week article please visit at:

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.

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Contact: Jim Giaquinto


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