7 Momentum Stocks That Will Power Through 2018

Each case for these momentum stocks is backed by Wall Street's top analysts

By Harriet Lefton, Writer, TipRanks

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Investors looking for long-term growth sometimes seek momentum stocks in an attempt to find significant gains amid all the market madness.

As such, I looked for stocks with strong momentum on a 12-month basis. As you will see below, these momentum stocks have delivered whopping gains over the last year. And on a three-month basis, they aren’t doing too bad either.

But even better, I used TipRanks to combine this momentum search with a search for “strong buy” stocks. These are stocks with the most bullish ratings from the best-performing analysts on Wall Street. Investors can rest easy in their search, as these are the best momentum stocks with big Street support from the top experts. Finding stocks that have strong gains and strong Street support can help avoid the tipping point where momentum stocks just become too expensive and fall back regardless of fundamental strength.

So what will the future hold for these seven strong buy stock picks? Let’s take a closer look:

Strong Momentum Stocks: Amazon (AMZN)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Amazon (AMZN)
Source: Amazon

1-year gain: 90%
3-month gain: 17%

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is killing it right now. And the company is setting itself up for significant continuous growth, as top D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte (Profile & Recommendations) has identified two additional $1 trillion markets for Amazon: Travel and gas.

“Based on our estimates, Amazon is currently pursuing 8 of 10 market opportunities that exceed $1T, globally. We see an opportunity for it to exploit the remaining two — gas (stations) and travel”, Forte explained.

Such an expansion would make sense because the “company has a history of solving complex logistical problems. Financially, it seeks opportunities that can generate significant free cash flow.”

In terms of travel, “Amazon could sell consumers not only the airline tickets and hotel accommodations but also everything they need for their trip”, the analyst added. He reiterated his Buy rating on Aug. 7 with a bullish $2,200 price target (18% upside potential).

With its savvy acquisition of PillPack, Amazon is already a player in the pharmacy market. Other categories where Amazon has a presence include apparel, grocery, consumer internet of things and B2B e-commerce.

Overall this strong buy stock scores 38 buy ratings vs two hold ratings in the last three months. This is with a $2,103 average analyst price target. See what other Top Analysts are saying about AMZN.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Illumina (ILMN)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Illumina (ILMN)

1-year gain: 71%
3-month gain: 29%

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) is a life sciences company offering instruments, consumables and services for genetic analysis.

Shares surged following outstanding Q2 results with a broad-based beat. Plus the company boosted its 2018 sales guide to 20% year-over-year growth.

According to Canaccord Genuity analyst Mark Massaro (Profile & Recommendations), the major beat and raised guidance confirms it is a must-own stock in 2018. He now sees the stock streaming toward over $4 billion in revenues by 2020.

With this in mind, Massaro ramped up his price target $10 to $340.

However, Merrill Lynch’s Derik De Bruin is way ahead of him. He has a Street-high-price-target of $370. According to De Bruin, Illumina is firing on all cylinders, with Q2 thrashing consensus. He sees at least +21% sales growth in ’18.

And bottom line for De Bruin is that he is “positive on Illumina’s prospects due to wide adoption of the company’s innovative genetic analysis tools, strong competitive position, and impressive forward-looking product and market strategy.”

Illumina has scored nine recent buy ratings vs just one hold rating. Its average price target stands at $340. See what other Top Analysts are saying about ILMN.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Align Tech (ALGN)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Align Tech (ALGN)
Source: Shutterstock

1-year gain: 111%
3-month gain: 37%

Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) is the company behind a straight-teeth revolution. It is the creator of the popular transparent teeth aligners (known as Invisalign). The stock has put on a stunning recent performance, more than doubling in the last year.

Following stellar Q2 results, Piper Jaffray analyst Matt O’Brien (Profile & Recommendations) raised his price target for Align to $440. He notes that results were strong across the board and “easily topped” his estimates on both the top- and bottom-lines.

Most interestingly, sales of its iTero intraoral scanners drove most of the upside, O’Brien told investors. This bodes well for Invisalign sales. As far as he’s aware, clinicians only buy scanners if they intend to use a lot of aligners in the future, a “very positive sign for the company’s outlook.”

Even disappointing Q3 guidance doesn’t distract from the overall bullish outlook says O’Brien. He believes that “this is part of the typical conservative playbook management employs.” As a result, the analyst recommends starting or increasing ALGN positions.

Overall, nine analysts have rated ALGN a buy in the last three months. This is versus two hold ratings. From all these analysts, the average price target stands at $400. See what other Top Analysts are saying about ALGN.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Salesforce (CRM)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Salesforce (CRM)
Source: Shutterstock

1-year gain: 61%
3-month gain: 12%

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is getting stronger. CRM is a proven market share taker that ticks all the boxes. Think disruptive products, a visionary CEO and robust business fundamentals.

Oppenheimer’s Brian Schwartz (Profile & Recommendations) is one of the Top 10 analysts ranked by TipRanks. And he is growing increasingly bullish on the stock. The analyst has just carried out an encouraging survey of CRM customers.

The results revealed an uptick in customer engagement spending, and an upcoming investment cycle. Customers want to operate on a single CRM platform, but many are still using inefficient technologies that will soon need upgrading.

“We see good upside potential to the financial targets since the installed base has a desire for a modern, next-generation customer engagement system from a leading platform supplier like salesforce.com”, writes Schwartz. He raised his price target to $160 from $152.

Ultimately, this analyst concludes: “We consider CRM one of the healthiest long-term growth stories in our SaaS/applications software universe.”

Clearly other analysts feel the same. CRM has received 26 buy ratings in the last three months, with two analysts staying sidelined. Meanwhile, the average analyst price target works out at $152.89. See what other Top Analysts are saying about CRM.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Mastercard (MA)

1-year gain: 56%
3-month gain: 6%

Master of its domain. This is how Cantor Fitzgerald’s Joseph Foresi (Profile & Recommendations) describes Mastercard (NYSE:MA) stock. The company has just reported another round of impressive earnings results. Like Brian Schwartz, Foresi stands out as one of the Top 10 analysts ranked by TipRanks.

He has now reiterated his MA buy rating, while shooting his price target to $237 from $213. “We value Mastercard at a premium to the group due to its strong growth”, comments the analyst.

Results for Q2 2018 smashed street expectations, with solid growth across all segments. Most notably, worldwide GDV growth remained strong in the mid-teens and Purchase Transaction volume growth accelerated to ~20% in the period.

Indeed, Foresi believes that MA can grow faster than peers. It also has potential to expand its margins. “We remain attracted to Mastercard’s card network and strong products and solutions, which should continue to drive solid performance”, he concludes.

Seventeen analysts have published recent buy ratings on this strong buy stock. Meanwhile, two analysts published hold ratings. This is with a $229 price target. See what other Top Analysts are saying about MA.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Harris (HRS)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Harris (HRS)
Source: Shutterstock

1-year gain: 40%
3-month gain: 7%

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) is a leading aerospace and defense company with a tech focus. “From ocean to orbit” is how Harris describes its products. They cover everything from tactical radios and night vision technology to undersea systems and Earth observation.

Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn (Profile & Recommendations) raised his price target for Harris to $190 from $175 on Aug. 1. The move came after the company ramped up its medium-term guidance.

“Management raised its “medium term” sales guidance from 5%+ to “mid- to high-single digit” growth, with broad based participation across segments”, notes Spingarn.

Plus earning results proved that the company’s tactical radio prospects remain strong. Not only does HRS enter F19 with above average sales visibility, but the bid pipeline also remains promising.

Moreover, according to Spingarn, “despite the Trump Administration’s public tension with NATO allies, HRS is seeing more interest in its radios (despite being a U.S. supplier) from allied nations as they increase their military spending”.

Harris has received only buy ratings from the Street in the last three months. See what other Top Analysts are saying about HRS.

Strong Momentum Stocks: Abiomed (ABMD)

Strong Momentum Stocks: Abiomed (ABMD)
Source: Shutterstock

1-year gain: 145%
3-month gain: 8%

Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD) is pioneering a new generation of heart-related medical devices. This includes the AbioCor artificial heart and Impella, the world’s smallest heart pump.

Following its dramatic price rise, you may be worried that the stock is looking too pricey. But that would be underestimating Abiomed’s massive growth potential.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Abiomed estimates that about 221,000 U.S. patients annually would benefit from procedures using Impella. Plus the stock doesn’t just have a U.S. focus. It also operates in Europe and Japan, and now India.

On July 26, Abiomed announced that Impella received approval from India’s regulatory body. The first patient has now been treated with the pump in New Delhi.

“Abiomed is committed to expanding access to our heart recovery products around the world. We are moving forward to establish Heart Recovery Programs in India, starting with limited centers of excellence in New Delhi and Jaipur,” said Abiomed CEO Michael R. Minogue.

Overall, Abiomed has received five buy ratings from the Street vs just one hold rating. This is over the last three months. Their average price target works out at $454. See what other Top Analysts are saying about ABMD.

TipRanks.com offers exclusive insights for investors by focusing on the moves of experts: Analysts, Insiders, Bloggers, Hedge Fund Managers and more. See what the experts are saying about your stocks now at TipRanks.com. As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2018/08/7-momentum-stocks-that-will-power-through-2018/.

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