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HollyFrontier (HFC) is a Great Momentum Stock: Should You Buy?

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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.

Even though momentum is a popular stock characteristic, it can be tough to define. Debate surrounding which are the best and worst metrics to focus on is lengthy, but the Zacks Momentum Style Score, part of the Zacks Style Scores, helps address this issue for us.

Below, we take a look at HollyFrontier (HFC), a company that currently holds a Momentum Style Score of A. 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. HollyFrontier 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 HFC is a promising momentum pick, let's examine some Momentum Style elements to see if this independent energy 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 HFC, shares are up 5.04% over the past week while the Zacks Oil and Gas - Refining and Marketing industry is up 2.52% over the same time period. Shares are looking quite well from a longer time frame too, as the monthly price change of 13.08% compares favorably with the industry's 8.29% performance as well.

Considering longer term price metrics, like performance over the last three months or year, can be advantageous as well. Over the past quarter, shares of HollyFrontier have risen 23.59%, and are up 83.49% in the last year. On the other hand, the S&P 500 has only moved 4.72% and 34.13%, respectively.

Investors should also take note of HFC'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, HFC is averaging 1,562,628 shares for the last 20 days.

Earnings Outlook

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 HFC.

Over the past two months, 5 earnings estimates moved higher compared to none lower for the full year. These revisions helped boost HFC's consensus estimate, increasing from $1.10 to $1.40 in the past 60 days. Looking at the next fiscal year, 2 estimates have moved upwards while there have been 2 downward revisions in the same time period.

Bottom Line

Given these factors, it shouldn't be surprising that HFC is a #2 (Buy) stock and boasts a Momentum Score of A. If you're looking for a fresh pick that's set to soar in the near-term, make sure to keep HollyFrontier on your short list.


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