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Zacks.com featured highlights: Activision Blizzard, Gibraltar Industries, Northrop Grumman, SJW and SPS Commerce

ATVI ROCK NOC SJW SPSC

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 04, 2016 - Stocks in this week’s article include: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: (ATVI - Free Report) -Free Report ), Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: (ROCK - Free Report) -Free Report ), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: (NOC - Free Report) -Free Report ), SJW Corp. (NYSE: (SJW - Free Report) -Free Report ) and SPS Commerce, Inc. (NASDAQ: (SPSC - Free Report) -Free Report ).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

Follow Driehaus’ Rule: Pick These 5 Momentum Stocks

Investors with a high risk appetite always look for a momentum strategy that can add to their portfolio returns. Momentum investing seeks to fulfill their objectives through the principle of "buying high and selling higher." Richard Driehaus, who is considered as one of the pioneers in this domain, built a portfolio by following the philosophy and the same succeeded in yielding robust returns. This success earned him several honors from the investment world. Barron honored him by including his name in its All-Century Team, which also includes famous investors such as Peter Lynch and Bill Miller.

Separately, famous investing institutions such as the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) found that Driehaus’ momentum strategy has the potential to offer healthy returns. According to AAII, the strategy generated returns of 13.5% and 18.1% in the five- and 10- year timeframe, respectively, against -1.1% and 4.2% returns registered by the S&P 500. Hence, one may apply Driehaus’ momentum strategy to build a profitable portfolio.

The Strategy

After studying Driehaus’ strategy thoroughly, AAII came to the conclusion that companies with impressive earnings growth rates and the potential to maintain the positive trend are its main focus. In addition to that, Driehaus gave precedence to those companies that have a solid track of beating expectations. Moreover, the strategy works better for longer time periods.

Driehaus had said in an interview: “That means buying stocks that have already had good moves and have high relative strength – that is, stocks in demand by other investors. I would much rather invest in a stock that’s increasing in price and take the risk that it may begin to decline than invest in a stock that’s already in a decline and try to guess when it will turn around.”

How to Apply the Strategy

Based on Driehaus’ approach, we have created a screen for picking solid momentum stocks. In it, we have added positive relative strength as an important criterion. Then, we have followed it up with the percentage 50-day moving average, which is calculated by dividing the numerator (month-end price minus 50-day moving average of month-end price by the 50-day moving average of month-end price). Positive percentage 50-day moving average indicates that the stock is trading at a price higher than its 50-day moving average level, indicating an uptrend.

In order to make the strategy more profitable, we have only considered those stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) as well as a momentum score of ‘A’. Our research shows that stocks with a Style Score of ‘A’ or ‘B’ when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 (Buy) offer the best upside potential.

• Zacks Rank equal to #1
(Only Strong Buy rated stocks can get through. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .)

Last 5-year average EPS growth rates above 2%
(Strong EPS growth history ensures improving business.)

Trailing 12 month EPS growth higher than 0 and industry median
(Higher EPS growth compared to the industry average indicates superior stocks.)

Last four-quarter average EPS surprise greater than 5%
(Positive EPS surprise indicates potential.)

Positive % 50-day moving average and relative strength over 4 weeks
(High % 50-day moving average and relative strength signal uptrend.)

Momentum Score equal to A

Just these few criteria narrowed down the universe of over 7,700 stocks to only 14.

Here are five of the 14 stocks:

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: (ATVI - Free Report) -Free Report ) is a worldwide pure-play online and console game publisher with leading market positions. Activision Blizzard has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 33.5%.

Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: (ROCK - Free Report) -Free Report ) is a leading manufacturer, processor, and distributor of metals and other engineered materials for the building products, vehicular, and other industrial markets. Gibraltar Industries has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 67.3%.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: (NOC - Free Report) -Free Report ) is a high technology company providing innovative solutions in systems integration, defense electronics and information technology. Northrop Grumman has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 8.3%.

SJW Corp. (NYSE: (SJW - Free Report) -Free Report ) is a public utility in the business of providing water service to a population of approximately 928,000 people. SJW has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 78.5%.

SPS Commerce, Inc. (NASDAQ: (SPSC - Free Report) -Free Report ) is a provider of on-demand supply chain management solutions, providing integration, collaboration, connectivity, visibility and data analytics to its customers worldwide. SPSC has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 44.2%.

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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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About Screen of the Week

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.