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6 Stocks With Recent Price Strength to Maximize Your Returns

Zacks

Investors are always on the lookout for a winning strategy, which is easier said than done. When markets are rattled by widespread global growth concerns, it is difficult for even the most perceptive investors to come up with a foolproof plan.

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 be stuck in a value trap if the hidden weaknesses in selected stock are not identified.

So, wouldn’t it be safer to look for stocks that are winners at present and have the potential to gain further?

Here’s how to execute it:

One should primarily look for stocks that have recently been witnessing price increase. Actually, stocks seeing price strength recently have a high chance of carrying the momentum forward.

If a stock is continuously scaling higher, there must be solid reason backing the rise or else it probably would have yielded like the losers. So, looking at stocks that have already won the game and are capable of beating the benchmark that they have set is rational.

However, recent price strength alone cannot weave the 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.

Here are six of the nine stocks that made it through this screen:

Harsco Corporation HSC is a services and engineered products company. The stock has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 134.4%.

Stamps.com Inc. STMP is a leading provider of Internet-based postage services. The stock has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 42.5%.

Grand Canyon Education, Inc. LOPE is a regionally accredited provider of online postsecondary education services focused on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in its core disciplines of education, business, and healthcare. The stock has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 12.3%.

PRGX Global, Inc. PRGX, formerly PRG-Schultz International, Inc., provides audit, analytics, and advisory services in order to improve client financial performance. The stock came up with a positive earnings surprise of 35.7% last quarter.

Medifast, Inc. MED is a leading manufacturer and distributor of clinically proven healthy living products and programs. The stock delivered a positive earnings surprise of 25% last quarter.

Ameresco, Inc. AMRC is an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency solutions for facilities throughout North America. The stock delivered a positive earnings surprise of 242.9% last quarter.

Get the rest of the stocks on the list and start putting this and other ideas to the test. It can all be done with the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting software.

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.

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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.


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