“In the stock game, winning means reaching a higher price.” However, striking the right chord each time needs a fair amount of luck.
No matter how disciplined and systematic investors are, equity market volatility will always manage to get the better of them. While a few lucky ones rake in the moolah, others fall victim to ad hoc strategies. One could resort to commonly used techniques to find beaten down stocks that have the potential to recover faster than others. However, even such investment choices bear the risk of disappointment. Particularly, one could fall into the value trap if the hidden weaknesses in selected stock are 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? Sounds good? Here’s how to execute it: One should primarily target stocks that have recently been on a bull run. Actually, 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 else it would have probably crashed. So, looking at stocks that are capable of beating the benchmark that they have set for themselves seems rational. However, recent price strength alone cannot create magic. Therefore, you need to set other relevant parameters to create a successful investment strategy. Here’s how you should create the screen to shortlist the current as well as the potential winners. Screening Parameters: 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. 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. Just these few criteria narrowed down the universe from over 7,700 stocks to just 19. Here we present five stocks out of those 19: Orion Group Holdings Inc. ORN operates as a specialty construction company in the building, industrial, and infrastructure sectors in continental United States, Alaska, Canada, and the Caribbean Basin. It operates in two segments, Marine and Concrete. The company’s stock price has surged 29.7% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 54.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 45.2% over the last 30 days. Cannae Holdings Inc. CNNE is a principal investment firm that primarily invests in restaurants, technology enabled healthcare services, financial services and more. The stock price has advanced 26.4% in the past four weeks. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 1.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 1.4% over the last 30 days. NMI Holdings Inc. ( NMIH Quick Quote NMIH - Free Report) provides private mortgage guaranty insurance services in the United States. It offers mortgage insurance; reinsurance on loans; and outsourced loan review services to mortgage loan originators. The stock price has gained 22.5% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 53.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 6.3% in the last 30 days. Northwest Pipe Co. NWPX manufactures engineered welded steel pipe water systems in North America. It operates in two segments: Water Transmission business and Tubular Products business. The stock has gained 20% in the past four weeks. It has expected earnings growth of 15.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 46.7% in the last 30 days. Universal Forest Products Inc. UFPI designs, manufactures, and markets wood and wood-alternative products in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It supplies wood, wood composite and other products in retail, industrial and construction market. The stock price has surged 20% in the past four weeks. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 21.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 1.7% over the last 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. 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.