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5 Stocks to Keep an Eye on as Analysts Initiate Coverage

Shrabana Mukherjee
Sector ETF report for FENY

New analyst coverage unearths extensive data on stocks for investors. As analysts are privy to vital information, which is crucial for investment decisions, they are much relied on as lack of information creates chances of misinterpretation (over- or under-valued).

Coverage initiation on a stock by analyst(s) usually portrays higher investor inclination. Investors, on their part, often assume that there is something special in a stock to attract analysts to cover it. In other words, they believe that the company coming under the microscope definitely holds some value.

Obviously, stocks are not randomly chosen to cover. New coverage on a stock usually reflects a reassuring future envisioned by the analyst(s). At times, increased investor focus on a stock motivates analysts to take a closer look at it. After all, who doesn’t like to produce something that is already in demand? Hence, we often find that analysts’ ratings on newly added stocks are more favorable than their ratings on continuously covered stocks.

Needless to say, the average change in broker recommendation is preferred over a single recommendation change.

Impact on Stock Price

The price movement of a stock is generally a function of the recommendations on it from new analysts. Stocks typically see an upward price movement with a new analyst coverage compared to what they witness with a rating upgrade under an existing coverage. Positive recommendations — Buy and Strong Buy — generally lead to a significantly more 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 very few 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.

So, it’s a good strategy to bet on 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:

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. LX, which operates as an online consumer finance platform for young adults in the People's Republic of China, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of the company have outperformed its industry year to date. The company's earnings estimates have risen 16.3% for the current year over the past 60 days, depicting analyst optimism over the stock’s earnings potential. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Herman Miller, Inc. MLHR, an office furniture, equipment and home furnishing manufacturer, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Shares of the company have gained 24.5% year to date, outperforming its industry. Earnings per share estimates for the current year have moved 3.6% north to $2.86 over the past 60 days.

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. IBKR, which operates as an automated global electronic market maker and broker, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Although shares of the company have underperformed its industry year to date, estimates have increased 4.8% for the current year over the past 30 days.

ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. CNOB, a community-based, full-service commercial bank holding company, carries a Zacks Rank #3. Shares of ConnectOne have returned 19.5% year to date, outperforming its industry’s 10.7% growth. Earnings estimates have moved 2.3% north for the current year over the past 30 days.

Surmodics, Inc. SRDX, a leading provider of medical device and In Vitro Diagnostics technologies to the healthcare industry, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3. Shares of Surmodics have outperformed its industry year to date and its earnings estimates have risen 100% for the current year over the past 30 days.

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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