Selecting breakout stocks is probably one of the most favored techniques among active investors. The idea behind this kind of stock selection is to determine which stocks are trading within a narrow channel. These stocks are to be bought as soon as they move above this band and sold when they fall below. In case a stock moves above this band, it usually gains momentum.
However, market watchers warn against incorrectly timing such a move. This is because of the significant risk of identifying stock movements as breakouts, which in reality are not so. At the same time, when this strategy is utilized judiciously, it yields substantive gains, which is the reason why it remains popular.
Spotting a Breakout Stock
The first step to selecting the right breakout stock is to calculate its support and resistance level. A support level is the lower bound for stock movement while a resistance level refers to the maximum price which it trades within over a considerable period.
In other words, demand for a stock is at its lowest at its support level, which means most traders are willing to sell it. At the resistance level, most traders are willing to go long on the stock, which means that they would like to add them to their portfolios. The key to identifying breakout stocks is to zero in on those that are on the verge of a breakout or those that have just broken above the resistance level.
Identifying Whether It’s for Real
Stocks which have breached their resistance level should ideally be in high demand among traders. But the test of whether this is a genuine breakout is when they go on to attain higher prices and the old barrier becomes a new support. This is why it is important to determine whether a long-term price trend is about to emerge.
Only a study of long-term trends can determine whether the existing trading channel has been breached effectively. This indicates the strength of the support or resistance levels. If you can identify the effective channel for a stock, picking it even at a not-so-reasonable price would lead to significant returns.
• Percentage price change over four weeks between 10% and 20% (Stocks which are showing considerable price increases, but whose gains are not excessive.)
• Current Price /52-Week High greater than or equal to 0.9 (Stocks which are trading 90% close to their 52-week highs.)
• Zacks Rank less than or equal to #2 (Only Strong Buy and Buy rated stocks can get through.)
• Beta for 60 months less than or equal to 2
(Stocks which move by a greater degree than the broader market but within a reasonable limit.)
• Current price less than or equal to $20 (Stocks which are reasonably priced.)
These criteria narrow down the universe of over 7906 stocks to only five.
Here are the top four stocks that meet these criteria:
Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of iron ore and pellets. Vale has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and its average EPS surprise over the last four quarters is 12.4%.
Fibria Celulose SA (NYSE:FBR) is a Brazil-based paper product company which produces bleached eucalyptus pulp exclusively from renewable plantations. Fibria Celulose’s expected earnings growth for the current year is more than 100%. Fibria Celulose carries a Zacks Rank #1.
TechTarget Inc (NASDAQ:TTGT) provides IT companies with ROI-focused marketing programs to generate leads, shorten sales cycles, and grow revenues. TechTarget has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and its average EPS surprise over the last four quarters is 13.8%.Its expected earnings growth for the current year is 70.8%
CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE:CBZ) provides professional business services that help clients better manage their finances and employees. CBIZ has a Zacks Rank #2 and its average EPS surprise over the last four quarters is 75.1%. Its expected earnings growth for the current year is 21.8%
You can get the remaining stock meeting these criteria 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 backtest 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 Research Wizard trial 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.
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.
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