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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 19, 2018 – Zacks Market Edge is a podcast hosted weekly by Zacks Stock Strategist Tracey Ryniec. Every week, Tracey will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life. To listen to the podcast, click here: (https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/312064/a-howto-plan-for-picking-stocks)

A How-To Plan for Picking Stocks

Welcome to Episode #138 of the Zacks Market Edge Podcast.

Every week, host and Zacks stock strategist, Tracey Ryniec, will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life.

In this episode, Tracey is joined by Kevin Cook, Zacks Senior Strategist and the Editor of the TAZR portfolio and the Health Care Innovators portfolio, to discuss the basic premise of how to pick a stock.

Both Tracey and Kevin run their own Zacks portfolios so they are constantly picking new stocks.

But Zacks has over 4400 stocks in its Zacks Rank universe. How does an investor go about narrowing that down?

Kevin shares his 10-step process for picking stocks. Here are the first 3 steps he deploys.

First 3 Steps in the Stock Picking Process

1.       Sector: Decide what sector you’re going to focus on. Do you like the tech stocks? Or what about retail? That will narrow it substantially.

2.       Zacks Rank: Use the Zacks Rank to narrow the list down further. If you look only for Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and #2 (Buy) stocks then they should have rising earnings estimates. Don’t all investors want rising earnings?

3.       Growth vs Valuation: Look for growth versus valuation metrics. You can look at P/E and earnings growth or use the PEG ratio to narrow it further.

The other 7 steps are a combination of technicals and fundamentals. Listen to the podcast to find out what the other important steps are.

What Stocks Did the 10-Step Process Yield?

1.       Align Technology ALGN has been a top healthcare stock. The company makes the Invisalign orthodontics treatment which is popular with teens. The stock isn’t cheap any more with a P/E of 76, but earnings are expected to be up another 22% in 2018 and 17% in 2019. Why does Kevin like it so much?

2.       Alibaba BABA is one of the top retail and technology names in China although its Zacks Rank has recently fallen to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) as the full year estimates were recently cut. Kevin used to own it in his Zacks portfolio. It fits into one of Kevin’s key indicators for picking stocks for the long term: the franchise. Alibaba is trading at 38x which actually makes it one of the cheaper big cap Chinese stocks.

3.       Microsoft MSFT was also a franchise stock for decades but that seemed to fizzle out at the turn of the century. However, new acquisitions like GitHub and LinkedIn, along with the cloud, have re-energized this old tech titan.

4.       Etsy ETSY went through rocky times as the original CEO left and the company had to do cost-cutting, including layoffs. Tracey likes buying beaten down quality names. This is one turnaround that has worked. Shares are up 112% in 2018. They now trade with a forward P/E of 79 but earnings are expected to rise 42% in 2018. It’s a stock that growth investors should keep on their radar.

5.       Amazon AMZN still continues to push the boundaries. It’s Prime Day promotion was so popular this year that its site actually crashed. It’s been a long time since that has happened. And it continues to push into new markets, including healthcare. Love it or hate it because of its high P/E, it is expected to grow earnings by an impressive 178% this year.

Be careful about being a perfectionist in your stock picking.

Kevin doesn’t expect his stocks to satisfy all of his 10-step process. Be nimble.

What else should you know about stock picking?

Tune into this week’s podcast to find out what all the 10 steps are and how they can help you be a better stock picker.

[In full disclosure, Tracey owns shares of MSFT and AMZN in her personal portfolio.]

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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