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4 Stocks Set to Soar on New Analyst Coverage Amid Virus Crisis

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Coronavirus fears have been dominating stock-market headlines of late, resulting in accelerated selloffs. Notably, the Dow Jones industrial average closed 12.9% down on Mar 16 — its worst percentage drop since 1987 — after President Donald Trump said the economy "may be" heading for recession. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the technology-rich Nasdaq suffered similar setbacks.

Now, as global stock markets are experiencing record levels of volatility, investors may look for stocks that have recently received new analyst coverage. The logic behind such action is that analysts don’t add a stock to their coverage randomly. New coverage on a stock is usually the result of huge investor focus on it or its promising prospects.

Interestingly, stocks typically see an incremental upward price movement with new analyst coverage compared to what they witness with continuation of existing analyst coverage. Of course, the price movement depends on the recommendations from the new analysts. Positive recommendations — Buy and Strong Buy — lead to a significant positive incremental price reaction than Strong Sell, Sell or Hold recommendations.

Moreover, if an analyst gives a new recommendation on a company that has limited or no analyst coverage, investors start paying more attention to it. As analysts almost always initiate coverage with a positive recommendation. Also, any new information attracts portfolio managers to build a position in the stock.

However, one should preferably look for the average change in broker recommendation rather than a single recommendation change. Then again, an upgrade, an initiation or even increased coverage is equally important.

Keeping this mind, it’s a good strategy to focus on the number of analyst recommendations that have increased 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 four of the eight stocks that passed the screen:

Enova International, Inc. (ENVA - Free Report) , a technology and analytics company, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 7.9% up over the past 60 days, depicting analyst optimism over the stock’s potential. Earnings for 2020 are expected to increase 13.7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Camtek Ltd. (CAMT - Free Report) , a maker of automatic optical inspection and process enhancement systems, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 9.1% up over the past 30 days. Earnings for 2020 are expected to increase 16.1%.

SP Plus Corporation (SP - Free Report) , a provider of professional parking, ground transportation, facility maintenance, security and event logistics services, currently has a Zacks Rank #2. Earnings estimates for 2020 have moved 2.7% up over the past 30 days. Earnings for 2020 are expected to grow 13.2%.

Sohu.com Limited (SOHU - Free Report) , a leading provider of online advertising, search, media and gaming services in China, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Loss for the current year is expected to narrow down to $2.34 per share from $2.51 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.

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


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Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU) - free report >>

Camtek Ltd. (CAMT) - free report >>

SP Plus Corporation (SP) - free report >>

Enova International, Inc. (ENVA) - free report >>