Investors who have the propensity to take higher risk can consider momentum stocks to boost their gains. In this respect, the Driehaus strategy can be used to choose the best momentum stocks using the “buy high and sell higher" theory. Richard Herman Driehaus earned his place in Barron’s All-Century Team following the success of this investment strategy.
The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) proved that the strategy has the potential to offer higher-than-market returns. AAII’s portfolio, which was developed based on the Driehaus strategy, has returned more than 300% since the end of the last bear market compared with 85.5% gains registered by the S&P 500.
A Detailed Look Into the Driehaus Strategy
Regarding the strategy, Driehaus once said: “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.” In line with this insight, AAII took into account the percentage 50-day moving average as one of the key criteria before creating a portfolio following Driehaus’ philosophy.
It 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 the month-end price. Another momentum indicator — positive relative strength — has also been included in this strategy. A 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.
Moreover, AAII found that Driehaus primarily focuses on strong earnings growth rates and impressive earnings projections to pick potential outperformers. Companies with a strong history of beating estimates are also given importance in this strategy, which was made to provide better returns over the long term.
In addition to the 50-day moving average and relative strength, we have considered a few parameters for picking the best stocks. As companies with a strong history of beating estimates usually outperform the market, we added this to our screen. Also, we have considered only those stocks that have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and a Momentum Score of A or B. Our research shows that stocks with a Style Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.
• Zacks Rank equal to #1
No matter whether good market 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.)
• Last 5-year average EPS growth rates above 2%
Strong EPS growth history ensures improving business
• Trailing 12-month EPS growth greater than 0 and industry median
Higher EPS growth compared to the industry average indicates superior earnings performance
• Last four-quarter average EPS surprise greater than 5%
Solid EPS surprise history indicates better price performance
• Positive percentage change in 50-day moving average and relative strength over 4 weeks
Positive percentage change in 50-day moving average and relative strength signal uptrend
• Momentum Score equal to or less than B
Favorable momentum score indicates that it is ideal to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.
These few parameters have narrowed down the universe of over 6,828 stocks to only 14.
Here are four of the 14 stocks:
Aspen Technology, Inc. (AZPN - Free Report) is an asset optimization software company. It has a Momentum Score of B and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 35.9%.
TopBuild Corp. (BLD - Free Report) is an installer and distributor of insulation and building material products. It has a Momentum Score of A and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 12.4%.
Digi International Inc. (DGII - Free Report) is a provider of business and mission critical Internet of Things (IOT) products, services and solutions. It has a Momentum Score of B and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of more than 100%.
Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) is a retailer of general merchandise. It has a Momentum Score of A and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 8.6%.
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.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.