Here at Zacks, we don't generally classify stocks as "cheap" or "expensive", and rather than looking at the stock's face value, we have a system that puts an emphasis on earnings estimate revisions to find stocks that will hopefully be winners for investors.
That being said, low-priced stocks can be attractive to smaller investors that can't necessarily afford large stakes in companies with higher priced stocks. When looking at these low-priced stocks, we can look at the same trends in growth, value, and momentum and apply the Zacks Rank to properly analyze the potential that these companies have.
Today we've highlighted ten stocks that are currently trading for under $20 per share. All of these stocks currently have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or better, and a variety of other factors make these companies stand out as having strong upside potential.
1. American River Bankshares ( AMRB )
Prior Close: $15.55
American River Bankshares is the parent company of American River Bank, a regional bank in Northern California with 10 full service branches and two loan production offices. Underscored by its "B" grade for Momentum, AMRB has been on an impressive run recently that has seen the stock gain nearly 45% over the past 12 weeks. Also, the company falls into a category of banks that sits in the Top 1% of the Zacks Industry Rank. With the company expected to post double-digit EPS growth for its latest fiscal year soon, AMRB could be ready to climb even higher.
2. Archrock Partners ( APLP )
Prior Close: $17.25
Archrock Partners is a provider of natural gas contract compression services primarily in the United States. The company is facing tough year-over-year comparison this quarter, but things look to be improving quickly as its next-year Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has gained seven cents over the last 30 days. Additionally, its solid Style Scores have helped the stock earn an overall VGM grade of "A."
3. Blue Rock Residential Growth REIT ( BRG )
Prior Close: $13.09
Blue Rock Residential Growth operates as a real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition of apartment properties in high-growth areas. Looking ahead, we are seeing solid earnings estimate revision activity for the company's next fiscal quarter and year. Also, its strong P/E ratio of 11.10 has helped it earn a "B" grade for Value, while its recent share price performance has earned it an "A" grade for Momentum. The stock has gained nearly 30% over the last 52 weeks on the back of earnings surprises in each of the trailing four quarters.
4. 1 st Constitution Bancorp ( FCCY )
Prior Close: $19.05
1st Constitution Bancorp is an independent community bank operating in New Jersey. The company currently has 19 branches in the state. 1 st Constitution and its fellow local banks fall into the Top 14% of the Zacks Industry Rank, and that's not to mention that it also falls into the Top 6% of the Zacks Sector Rank. Our consensus estimates currently call for FCCY to post EPS growth of 5% this quarter, and future projections point to sales growth of 5.85% for FY17.
5. HopFed Bancorp ( HFBC )
Prior Close: $13.55
HopFed Bancorp is a holding company for Hopkinsville Federal Savings Bank, a local banking company that operates several branches and distributes loans. Our current consensus estimates call for HopFed to post EPS growth of 20% on sales growth of 5.98% this quarter. Looking ahead, estimates point to EPS growth of 50% next quarter and 38.46% next fiscal year. Furthermore, the stock has a respectable VGM grade of "B."
6. Investar Holding Corp. ( ISTR )
Prior Close: $19.35
Investar Holding Corporation is a bank holding company for Investar Bank, which offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas. The company has seen solid earnings estimate revision for its current and upcoming quarters, and it has earned a VGM grade of "A." Our current consensus estimates for Investar's current-quarter earnings would represent EPS growth of 33.33% on sales growth of 3.3%.
7. Marvell Technology Group ( MRVL )
Prior Close: $14.42
Marvell Technology is a maker of mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuit for digital data storage and broadband digital data networking markets. The company has accrued eight positive current-quarter earnings estimates revisions over the past 60 days, raising its Zacks Consensus Estimate by seven cents in that time. Estimate revisions have also been pouring in for its full-year, next-quarter, and next-year earnings. With its "A" grade for Momentum underscoring its impressive run, Marvell Technology is a story about rising EPS figures and share prices.
8. Sequans Communications ( SQNS )
Prior Close: $2.40
Sequans Communications is a developer of 4G semiconductor solutions for wireless broadband applications and IoT applications. Although Sequans is currently a loss-making company, we do expect to see strong growth soon. In fact, current consensus estimates indicate sales growth of 27.18% and EPS growth of 7.14% this quarter. That EPS figure has seen one positive estimate revision in the past week, bumping it up a penny higher. We have also seen positive revisions for Sequans future earnings.
9. Ultra Clean Holdings ( UCTT )
Prior Close: $12.16
Ultra Clean Holdings is a developer and supplier of critical subsystems for the semiconductor capital equipment, flat panel, solar and medical device industries. The company has seen three positive estimate revisions for its current-quarter earnings over the past week, moving its Zacks Consensus Estimate eight cents higher. Our consensus estimate for sales also indicates revenue growth of 67.37%. Additionally, Ultra Clean has "B" grades for Value and Growth, as well as "A" grades for Momentum and VGM.
10. Xplore Technologies ( XPLR )
Prior Close: $2.19
Xplore Technologies Corp. is engaged in the business of developing integrating and marketing mobile wireless Tablet PC computing systems. While estimate trends for this quarter are challenging, Xplore has seen strong revision activity for its next-quarter and full-year earnings. Year-over-year comparisons will also be tough this quarter, but current estimates point to EPS growth of 111.11% next quarter.
A stock's market price is not a clear indicator of whether it is a good investment. However, the nice thing about the Zacks Rank is that it can be applied to stocks of any price. All of the stocks highlighted here hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or better ranking, while also possessing other qualities that help them stick out. For smaller investors looking to get into solid stocks at lower prices, this list is a great place to start and all of these companies could just be great picks going forward.
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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 Ultra Clean Holdings, Inc. (UCTT): Free Stock Analysis Report Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL): Free Stock Analysis Report Investar Holding Corporation (ISTR): Free Stock Analysis Report American River Bankshares (AMRB): Free Stock Analysis Report HopFed Bancorp, Inc. (HFBC): Free Stock Analysis Report Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (BRG): Free Stock Analysis Report Sequans Communications S.A. (SQNS): Free Stock Analysis Report Archrock Partners, L.P. (APLP): Free Stock Analysis Report Xplore Technologies Corp (XPLR): Free Stock Analysis Report 1st Constitution Bancorp (NJ) (FCCY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research