A stock at a 52-week high level is considered a winner. This level helps investors decide on whether to buy or sell the stock.
Investors often wonder if this level has made the stock overpriced. While they are not totally incorrect, all stocks hitting a 52-week high are not expensive.
In fact, in an attempt to avoid stocks that are near their 52-week high levels, an investor might miss out on top gainers.
A stock can maintain the momentum and keep scaling new highs with time. Hence a more informed approach for understanding if any further upside is left is beneficial in these cases.
Here we discuss a strategy to find the right stocks:
Borrowing from the basics of momentum investing, this technique bets on the catchphrase “buy high, sell higher.”
52-Week High: A Good Indicator
Many a time, stocks hitting a 52-week high are prevented from scaling higher despite robust potential due to the psychological bias of investors, who fear that the stocks are overvalued and a price crash is impending.
In fact, overvaluation is quite natural for most of these stocks as investors’ special attention (or willingness to pay premium) has helped them achieve the level. But that doesn’t always mean an impending decline. The factors — such as robust sales, surging profit levels, earnings growth prospects and strategic acquisitions — that motivated investors to bet on these stocks could keep them encouraged if there is no tangible negative. In other words, the momentum might continue.
Also, when a string of positive developments dominate the market, investors find their under-reaction unwarranted, even if there are no company-specific driving forces.
Setting the Right Filters
We ran a screen to zero in on 52-week high stocks (trading near the high level) that hold tremendous upside potential. The screen includes parameters to shortlist stocks with strong earnings growth expectations, sturdy value metrics and price momentum.
Moreover, the screen filters stocks that are relatively undervalued compared to their peers, in terms of earnings as well as sales, ensuring continuation of their rally for some time.
Current Price/52 Week High >= .80
This is the ratio between the current price and the highest price at which the stock has traded in the past 52 weeks. A value greater than 0.8 implies that the stock is trading within 20% of its 52-week high range.
% Change Price – 4 Weeks > 0
It ensures that the stock price has moved north over the past four weeks.
% Change Price – 12 Weeks > 0
This metric guarantees a continued upward price momentum for the stock over the past three months as well.
Price/Sales <= XIndMed
The lower, the better.
P/E using F(1) Estimate <= XIndMed
This metric measures the amount an investor puts into a company to obtain one dollar of earnings. It narrows down the list of stocks to those that are undervalued compared to the industry.
One-Year EPS Growth F(1)/F(0) >= XIndMed
This helps choose stocks that have higher growth rates than the industry. This is a meaningful indicator, as decent earnings growth adds to investor optimism.
Zacks Rank <=2
No screening is complete without our proven Zacks Rank, which has proved its worth since inception. It is a fundamental truth that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) have always managed to brave adversities and beat the market. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Current Price >= 5
This parameter will help screen stocks that are trading at $5 or higher.
Volume – 20 days (shares) >= 100000
Inclusion of this metric ensures that there is a substantial volume of shares, so trading is easier.
Here are five of the 22 stocks that made it through the screen:
Archer Daniels Midland Company ADM is one of the leading food processing companies in the world. It procures, transports, stores, processes, and merchandises agricultural commodities and products. The company has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 1.7%.
Phibro Animal Health Corporation PAHC is a leading global diversified animal health and mineral nutrition company. The company provides a broad range of products for food animals including poultry, swine, beef and dairy cattle and aquaculture. The company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of four trailing quarters, the average positive surprise being 6.7%.
NEXEO SOLUTIONS NXEO distributes chemicals and plastics products and operates primarily in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia. The company has an average positive surprise of 19.8% for the last four quarters.
Western Digital Corporation WDC is a prominent hard disk drive (HDD) producer in the United States. The company designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of HDDs used in desktop PCs, servers, network-attached storage devices, video game consoles, digital video recorders and a host of other consumer electronic devices. Surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all four quarters, the company has an average earnings surprise of 6.4%.
Fortinet, Inc. FTNT is a provider of network security appliances and Unified Threat Management (UTM) network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The company has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the four trailing quarters and has an average positive surprise of 20.1%.
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 trial to the Research Wizard 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
Zacks Restaurant Recommendations: In addition to dining at these special places, you can feast on their stock shares. A Zacks Special Report spotlights 5 recent IPOs to watch plus 2 stocks that offer immediate promise in a booming sector. Download it free»
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Western Digital Corporation (WDC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Phibro Animal Health Corporation (PAHC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NEXEO SOLUTIONS (NXEO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research