Momentum investing revolves around the idea of following a stock's recent trend in either direction. In the 'long' context, investors will be essentially be "buying high, but hoping to sell even higher." With this methodology, taking advantage of trends in a stock's price is key; once a stock establishes a course, it is more than likely to continue moving that way. The goal is that once a stock heads down a fixed path, it will lead to timely and profitable trades.
While many investors like to look for momentum in stocks, this can be very tough to define. There is a lot of debate surrounding which metrics are the best to focus on and which are poor quality indicators of future performance. The Zacks Momentum Style Score, part of the Zacks Style Scores, helps address this issue for us.
Below, we take a look at Billiton (BBL), a company that currently holds a Momentum Style Score of B. We also talk about price change and earnings estimate revisions, two of the main aspects of the Momentum Style Score.
It's also important to note that Style Scores work as a complement to the Zacks Rank, our stock rating system that has an impressive track record of outperformance. Billiton currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Our research shows that stocks rated Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and #2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B outperform the market over the following one-month period.
You can see the current list of Zacks #1 Rank Stocks here >>>
Set to Beat the Market?
In order to see if BBL is a promising momentum pick, let's examine some Momentum Style elements to see if this resource and exploration company holds up.
A good momentum benchmark for a stock is to look at its short-term price activity, as this can reflect both current interest and if buyers or sellers currently have the upper hand. It's also helpful to compare a security to its industry; this can show investors the best companies in a particular area.
For BBL, shares are up 4.26% over the past week while the Zacks Mining - Miscellaneous industry is flat over the same time period. Shares are looking quite well from a longer time frame too, as the monthly price change of 16.6% compares favorably with the industry's 7.87% performance as well.
Considering longer term price metrics, like performance over the last three months or year, can be advantageous as well. Shares of Billiton have increased 19.99% over the past quarter, and have gained 15% in the last year. On the other hand, the S&P 500 has only moved 6.04% and 4.59%, respectively.
Investors should also take note of BBL's average 20-day trading volume. Volume is a useful item in many ways, and the 20-day average establishes a good price-to-volume baseline; a rising stock with above average volume is generally a bullish sign, whereas a declining stock on above average volume is typically bearish. Right now, BBL is averaging 1,507,024 shares for the last 20 days.
The Zacks Momentum Style Score encompasses many things, including estimate revisions and a stock's price movement. Investors should note that earnings estimates are also significant to the Zacks Rank, and a nice path here can be promising. We have recently been noticing this with BBL.
Over the past two months, 1 earnings estimate moved higher compared to 2 lower for the full year. These revisions helped boost BBL's consensus estimate, increasing from $3.65 to $3.74 in the past 60 days. Looking at the next fiscal year, 2 estimates have moved upwards while there have been 1 downward revision in the same time period.
Given these factors, it shouldn't be surprising that BBL is a #2 (Buy) stock and boasts a Momentum Score of B. If you're looking for a fresh pick that's set to soar in the near-term, make sure to keep Billiton on your short list.
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
BHP Billiton PLC (BBL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research