In the stock game, winning means reaching a higher price.
However, finding a win-win strategy is easier said than done. No matter how disciplined and systematic investors are, equity market volatility tends to get the better of them. A few lucky ones manage to rake in the moolah while others fall victim to ad hoc strategies.
One could resort to the commonly used techniques to find beaten down stocks that have the potential to recover faster than others. But this bears the risk of disappointment as one could fall into the value trap if the selected stock’s hidden weakness is not identified.
So, wouldn’t it be a safer strategy to look for stocks that are winners currently and have the potential to gain further?
Here is how one can go about it:
One should primarily look for stocks that have recently witnessed a price increase. Actually, stocks that have recently seen price strength have high chances of carrying the momentum forward.
If a stock is continuously moving higher, there must be a good reason for the rise or else it probably would have fallen like the losers. So, looking at those stocks that are capable of beating the benchmark that they have set for themselves seems rational.
Nevertheless, recent price strength alone cannot do the trick. Club together other relevant parameters in your game plan to get the optimum return on your investment.
Here’s how you should create the screen to shortlist the current as well as the potential winners.
Percentage Change in Price (4 Weeks) greater than zero: This criterion shows that the stock has moved higher in the last four weeks.
Percentage Change Price (12 Weeks) greater than 10: This indicates that the stock has seen momentum over the last three months. This lowers the risk of choosing stocks that may have drawn attention due to the overwhelming performance of the overall market in a very short period.
Zacks Rank 1: No matter whether market conditions are good or bad, stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) have a proven history of outperformance. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Average Broker Rating 1: This indicates that brokers are also highly hopeful about the stock’s future performance.
Current Price greater than 5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.
Current Price/ 52-Week High-Low Range more than 85%: This criterion filters stocks that are trading near their respective 52-week highs. It indicates that these are strong enough in terms of price.
Here are six of the 11 stocks that made it through this screen:
Horizon Global Corp. (HZN - Snapshot Report) is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of towing, trailering, cargo management and accessory products for original equipment, aftermarket and retail customers. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate twice and missed the same on two other occasions. However, it has an average four-quarter positive surprise of 11.9%.
Hallador Energy Co. (HNRG - Snapshot Report) , formerly known as Hallador Petroleum Company, is engaged in the production of steam coal. The company's primary operating property is the Carlisle underground coal mine located in western Indiana. Last quarter, the company posted earnings of 19 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents.
Asure Software Inc. (ASUR - Snapshot Report) , formerly Forgent Networks, Inc., is a provider of web-based workforce management solutions that enable organizations to manage their office environment, as well as their human resource and payroll processes. Last quarter, the company posted earnings of 15 cents, much better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 2 cents.
UFP Technologies Inc. (UFPT - Snapshot Report) designs and manufactures a range of high-performance cushion packaging and specialty foam and plastic prods for the industrial and consumer markets. UFP also designs precision moulded fibre packaging products made from recycled paper. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 68.4%.
Based in San Leandro, CA, Energy Recovery Inc. (ERII - Snapshot Report) is a leading global developer and manufacturer of highly efficient energy recovery devices utilized in the water desalination industry. Last quarter, the company posted earnings of a penny as against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of penny.
Argan Inc. (AGX - Snapshot Report) , headquartered in Rockville, MD, through its wholly owned Southern Maryland Cable, Inc. subsidiary, provides inside premise wiring services to the federal government and also provides underground and aerial construction services and splicing to major telecommunications and utilities customers. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate twice and missed it on two occasions in the preceding four quarters. However, the average was a positive surprise of 13.3%.
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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.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.
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