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5 Stocks in Focus as New Analysts Initiate Coverage

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Coverage initiation on a stock by analyst(s) helps in interpreting information pertaining to capital markets, creating value for investors. Lack of information creates inefficiencies that might trigger misinterpretation of stocks (over- or under-valued).

In fact, coverage initiation usually depicts increased investor inclination. Investors, on their part, often assume that there is something in the stock that has attracted analyst attention. In other words, they believe that the company coming under the microscope definitely has some value.
Obviously, stocks are not arbitrarily chosen to cover. New coverage on a stock usually reflects an encouraging future envisioned by the analyst(s). At times, increased investor focus on a stock motivates analysts to take a closer look at it.

Notably, the average change in broker recommendation is preferred over a single recommendation change.

How Does Analyst Coverage Influence Stock Price?

The price movement of a stock is generally a function of the recommendations on it from new analysts. Stocks typically see an upward price movement with a new analyst coverage compared to what they witness with a rating upgrade under an existing coverage. Positive recommendations — Buy and Strong Buy — generally lead to a significantly more positive price reaction than Hold recommendations. On the contrary, analysts hardly initiate coverage with a Strong Sell or Sell recommendation.

Now, if an analyst gives a new recommendation on a company that has very few or no existing coverage, investors start paying more attention to it. Also, any new information attracts portfolio managers to build a position in the stock.

So, it’s a good strategy to bet on stocks that have seen increased analyst coverage over the last few weeks.

Screening Criteria

Number of Broker Ratings now greater than the Number of Broker Ratings four weeks ago (This will shortlist stocks that have recent new coverage).

Average Broker Rating less than Average Broker Rating four weeks ago ('Less than' means 'better than' four weeks ago).

Increased analyst coverage and improving average rating are the primary criteria of this strategy but one should consider other relevant parameters to make the strategy foolproof.

Here are the other screening parameters:

Price greater than or equal to $5 (as a stock below $5 will not likely create significant interest for most investors).

Average Daily Volume greater than or equal to 100,000 shares (if volume isn’t enough, it will not attract individual investors).

Here are five of the 11 stocks that passed the screen:

Assurant, Inc. AIZ is Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company, which offers a wide range of products that protect appliances, electronic devices, mobile phones and family finances through pre-need insurance. The stock has outperformed its industry so far this year. Its earnings estimates have risen 1.7% for the current year over the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Opera Limited OPRA, also a Zacks Rank #2 stock, provides mobile and PC web browsers in Ireland, Russia, and internationally. Shares of the company have gained 82.4% year to date, outperforming its industry’s rally of 2.6%. Earnings estimates have moved 52.6% up for the current year over the past 60 days.

ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ANIP - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company, is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The stock has gained 61.7% year to date as against its industry’s decline of 8.6%. The company’s earnings for the current year are expected to grow 13.2%.

eXp World Holdings, Inc. EXPI provides cloud-based real estate brokerage services for residential real estate market in the United States and Canada. Shares of eXp World have underperformed its industry year to date. That said, its earnings for the current year are expected to increase more than 30%.

Avista Corporation AVA, a Zacks Rank #3 company, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. Although shares of the company have underperformed its industry year to date, its earnings estimates have risen 1.5% for the current year 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.

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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.

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