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5 Stocks to Make the Most of New Analyst Coverage

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Coverage initiation on a stock by analyst(s) is critical for making investment decisions. This is because analysts provide key information on a stock, which is of great value to investors. There’s no denying that the lack of consistency in information creates inefficiencies that might result in misinterpretation of stocks.

Initiation of coverage by analysts 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 radar definitely has some value which can be tapped into. At times, increased investor focus on a stock encourages analysts to take a closer look.

Then again, average change in broker recommendation is always preferred over a single recommendation change.

Impact on Price Movement

The price movement of a stock generally depends on the recommendations on it from new analysts. Usually, stocks see an upward price movement on new analyst coverage compared to what was witnessed with a rating upgrade under an existing coverage. Positive recommendations – Buy and Strong Buy – generally lead to a significantly 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 limited 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.

Below, we have selected four 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 seven stocks that passed the screen:

Farmers National Banc Corp. FMNB operates in banking, trust, retirement consulting, insurance, and financial management industries. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has gained 13.4% over the past year, outperforming its industry’s growth of 3.3%. Earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 3.8% up over the past 30 days, depicting analyst optimism over the stock’s potential.

Independent Bank Corporation IBCP operates as the holding company for Independent Bank that provides various banking services to individuals and businesses in Michigan. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has underperformed its industry’s over the past year. However, its earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 3.6% north over the past 30 days.

First Financial Bankshares, Inc. FFIN provides commercial banking products and services primarily in Texas. The Zacks Rank #2 company has gained 10.6% over a year, against its industry’s decline of 0.7%. Earnings estimates for 2020 have climbed 2.4% north over the past 30 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

HarborOne Bancorp, Inc. HONE is a financial services holding company. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has gained 27.1% over the past year, outperforming its industry’s rally of 2.2%. Earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 3% north over the past 30 days.

Cue Biopharma, Inc. (CUE - Free Report) is an immunotherapy company and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has gained 210.6% over a year against its industry’s decline of 2.5%. Earnings for 2020 are expected to grow 27.3%.

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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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Cue Biopharma, Inc. (CUE) - free report >>