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Invest in These 5 Stocks Powered by Relative Price Strength

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Investors generally gauge a stock's potential return by examining earnings growth and valuation multiples. At the same time, it's important to measure the performance of such a stock relative to its industry or peers, or the appropriate benchmark.

If you see that a stock is underperforming on fundamental factors, then it would be prudent to move on and find a better alternative. However, those outperforming their respective sectors in terms of price should be selected because they stand a better chance to provide considerable returns.

Then again, it is imperative that you determine whether or not an investment has relevant upside potential when considering stocks with significant relative price strength. Stocks delivering better than the S&P 500 over a period of one to three months at the least and having solid fundamentals indicate room for growth and are the best ways to go about this strategy.

Finally, it is important to find out whether analysts are optimistic about the upcoming earnings results of these companies. In order to do this, we have added positive estimate revisions for the current quarter's (Q1) earnings to our screen. When a stock undergoes an upward revision, it leads to additional price gains.

Screening Parameters

Relative % Price change - 12 weeks greater than 0

Relative % Price change - 4 weeks greater than 0

Relative % Price change - 1 week greater than 0

(We have considered those stocks that have been outperforming the S&P 500 over the last 12 weeks, four weeks and one week.)

% Change (Q1) Est. over 4 Weeks greater than 0: Positive current quarter estimate revisions over the last four weeks.

Zacks Rank equal to 1: Only Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks - that have returned more than 26% annually over the last 26 years and surpassed the S&P 500 in 23 of the last 26 years - can get through. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Current Price greater than or equal to $5 and Average 20-day Volume greater than or equal to 50,000: A minimum price of $5 is a good standard to screen low-priced stocks, while a high trading volume would imply adequate liquidity.

VGM Scoreless than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 (Buy) offer the best upside potential.

Here are the five of the 26 stocks that made it through the screen:

ePlus inc.PLUS : Headquartered in Herndon, VA, ePlus is a technology solutions provider to businesses in North America. The firm has a VGM Score of A and an excellent earnings surprise history. It has a 100% track of outperforming estimates over the last four quarters at an average rate of 11.57%.

HCA Healthcare, Inc.HCA : HCA Healthcare is the largest non-governmental operator of acute care hospitals in the United States. Sporting a VGM Score of A, this Nashville, TN-headquartered company's expected EPS growth rate for three to five years currently stands at 11.5%, comparing favorably with the industry's growth rate of 11.1%.

US Foods Holding Corp.USFD : A leading foodservice distributor in the United States partnering with approximately 250,000 restaurants nationwide, US Foods has a VGM Score of A. Over 30 days, the Rosemont, IL-based company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 increase 13.3% and 14.7%, to $2.05 and $2.34 per share, respectively.

Best Buy Co., Inc.BBY : Incorporated in 1966 and headquartered in Richfield, MN, Best Buy is a multinational specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services. The company, which operates in the United States, Canada and Mexico, has a VGM Score of A and an enviable earnings surprise history. It surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters.

Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc.RUTH : Headquartered in Winter Park, FL, Ruth's Hospitality Group is a leading operator of fine dining steakhouses in the United States, with roughly 150 systemwide units. The 2018 Zacks Consensus Estimate for this company is $1.33, representing some 20.9% earnings per share growth over 2017. Next year's average forecast is $1.45, pointing to another 8.8% growth. Ruth's Hospitality Group has a VGM Score of B.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list 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 test 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.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today

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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ePlus inc. (PLUS): Free Stock Analysis Report

US Foods Holding Corp. (USFD): Free Stock Analysis Report

HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. (RUTH): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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