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Why Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) is a Top Pick for Momentum Investors

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Momentum investing is all about the idea of following a stock's recent trend, which can be in either direction. In the 'long' context, investors will essentially be "buying high, but hoping to sell even higher." And for investors following this methodology, taking advantage of trends in a stock's price is key; once a stock establishes a course, it is more than likely to continue moving in that direction. The goal is that once a stock heads down a fixed path, it will lead to timely and profitable trades.

Even though momentum is a popular stock characteristic, it can be tough to define. Debate surrounding which are the best and worst metrics to focus on is lengthy, but the Zacks Momentum Style Score, part of the Zacks Style Scores, helps address this issue for us.

Below, we take a look at Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) , which currently has a Momentum Style Score of B. We also discuss some of the main drivers of the Momentum Style Score, like price change and earnings estimate revisions.

It's also important to note that Style Scores work as a complement to the Zacks Rank, our stock rating system that has an impressive track record of outperformance. Intuitive Surgical currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy). Our research shows that stocks rated Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and #2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B outperform the market over the following one-month period.

You can see the current list of Zacks # 1 Rank Stocks here >>>

Set to Beat the Market?

Let's discuss some of the components of the Momentum Style Score for ISRG that show why this robotic surgery system company shows promise as a solid momentum pick.

Looking at a stock's short-term price activity is a great way to gauge if it has momentum, since this can reflect both the current interest in a stock and if buyers or sellers have the upper hand at the moment. It is also useful to compare a security to its industry, as this can help investors pinpoint the top companies in a particular area.

For ISRG, shares are up 3.41% over the past week while the Zacks Medical - Instruments industry is up 1.16% over the same time period. Shares are looking quite well from a longer time frame too, as the monthly price change of 7.36% compares favorably with the industry's 2.62% performance as well.

While any stock can see a spike in price, it takes a real winner to consistently outperform the market. Shares of Intuitive Surgical have increased 12.35% over the past quarter, and have gained 63.31% in the last year. In comparison, the S&P 500 has only moved 5.93% and 19.01%, respectively.

Investors should also pay attention to ISRG's average 20-day trading volume. Volume is a useful item in many ways, and the 20-day average establishes a good price-to-volume baseline; a rising stock with above average volume is generally a bullish sign, whereas a declining stock on above average volume is typically bearish. ISRG is currently averaging 427,337 shares for the last 20 days.

Earnings Outlook

The Zacks Momentum Style Score looks at estimate revision trends as well as price changes, though investors should also note that any direction in estimate revisions remains key to the Zacks Rank. A nice path here can be promising, and we have recently been noticing that with ISRG.

Over the past two months, 10 earnings estimates moved higher compared to none lower for the full year. These revisions helped boost ISRG's consensus estimate, increasing from $10.26 to $10.74 in the past 60 days. Looking at the next fiscal year, 9 estimates have moved upwards while there have been 1 downward revision in the same time period.

Bottom Line

Given these factors, it shouldn't be surprising that ISRG is a #1 (Strong Buy) stock and boasts a Momentum Score of B. If you're looking for a fresh pick that's set to soar in the near-term, make sure to keep Intuitive Surgical on your short list.




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