Taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for new and old investors, and Zacks Premium offers many different ways to do both.
Featuring daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens, the research service can help you become a smarter, more self-assured investor.
Zacks Premium also includes the Zacks Style Scores.
What are the Zacks Style Scores?
The Zacks Style Scores is a unique set of guidelines that rates stocks based on three popular investing types, and were developed as complementary indicators for the Zacks Rank. This combination helps investors choose securities with the highest chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.
Based on their value, growth, and momentum characteristics, each stock is assigned a rating of A, B, C, D, or F. The better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform; an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on.
The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:
For value investors, it's all about finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value before the broader market catches on. The Value Style Score utilizes ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to help pick out the most attractive and discounted stocks.
While good value is important, growth investors are more focused on a company's financial strength and health, and its future outlook. The Growth Style Score takes projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow into account to uncover stocks that will see long-term, sustainable growth.
Momentum traders and investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." This investing style is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook. Employing factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates, the Momentum Style Score can indicate favorable times to build a position in high-momentum stocks.
If you want a combination of all three Style Scores, then the VGM Score will be your friend. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, helping you find the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum. It's also one of the best indicators to use with the Zacks Rank.
How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank
A proprietary stock-rating model, the Zacks Rank utilizes the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings outlook, to help investors create a successful portfolio.
Investors can count on the Zacks Rank's success, with #1 (Strong Buy) stocks producing an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988, more than double the S&P 500's performance. But the model rates a large number of stocks, and there are over 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, plus another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.
But it can feel overwhelming to pick the right stocks for you and your investing goals with over 800 top-rated stocks to choose from.
That's where the Style Scores come in.
To have the best chance of big returns, you'll want to always consider stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B, which will give you the highest probability of success. If you're looking at stocks with a #3 (Hold) rank, it's important they have Scores of A or B as well to ensure as much upside potential as possible.
The direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should always be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy, since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank.
A stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, for instance, even one with Scores of A and B, will still have a declining earnings forecast, and a greater chance its share price will fall too.
Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.
Stock to Watch: Centene (CNC)
Centene Corporation is a well-diversified healthcare company that primarily provides a set of services to the government sponsored healthcare programs. The company serves the under-insured and uninsured individuals through member-focused services. It is also engaged in providing education and outreach programs to inform and assist members in accessing quality, appropriate healthcare services.
CNC is a #2 (Buy) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of A.
It also boasts a Value Style Score of A thanks to attractive valuation metrics like a forward P/E ratio of 11.15; value investors should take notice.
Nine analysts revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days for fiscal 2023. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0.20 to $6.66 per share. CNC boasts an average earnings surprise of 5.6%.
With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Value and VGM Style Scores, CNC should be on investors' short list.
Zacks Naming Top 10 Stocks for 2024
Want to be tipped off early to our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2024?
History suggests their performance could be sensational.
From 2012 (when our Director of Research, Sheraz Mian assumed responsibility for the portfolio) through November, 2023, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained +974.1%, nearly TRIPLING the S&P 500’s +340.1%. Now Sheraz is combing through 4,400 companies to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold in 2024. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 2.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.