Markets

What Makes LPL Financial (LPLA) a Strong Momentum Stock: Buy Now?

Momentum investing revolves around the idea of following a stock's recent trend in either direction. In the 'long' context, investors will be essentially be "buying high, but hoping to sell even higher." With this methodology, taking advantage of trends in a stock's price is key; once a stock establishes a course, it is more than likely to continue moving that way. The goal is that once a stock heads down a fixed path, it will lead to timely and profitable trades.

While many investors like to look for momentum in stocks, this can be very tough to define. There is a lot of debate surrounding which metrics are the best to focus on and which are poor quality indicators of future performance. The Zacks Momentum Style Score, part of the Zacks Style Scores , helps address this issue for us.

Below, we take a look at LPL Financial (LPLA) , a company that currently holds a Momentum Style Score of A. We also talk about price change and earnings estimate revisions, two of the main aspects of the Momentum Style Score.

It's also important to note that Style Scores work as a complement to the Zacks Rank, our stock rating system that has an impressive track record of outperformance. LPL Financial currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Our research shows that stocks rated Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and #2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B outperform the market over the following one-month period.

You can see the current list of Zacks #1 Rank Stocks here >>>

Set to Beat the Market?

In order to see if LPLA is a promising momentum pick, let's examine some Momentum Style elements to see if this financial holding company holds up.

Looking at a stock's short-term price activity is a great way to gauge if it has momentum, since this can reflect both the current interest in a stock and if buyers or sellers have the upper hand at the moment. It's also helpful to compare a security to its industry; this can show investors the best companies in a particular area.

For LPLA, shares are up 6.96% over the past week while the Zacks Financial - Investment Bank industry is flat over the same time period. Shares are looking quite well from a longer time frame too, as the monthly price change of 21.36% compares favorably with the industry's 1.02% performance as well.

Considering longer term price metrics, like performance over the last three months or year, can be advantageous as well. Shares of LPL Financial have increased 21.44% over the past quarter, and have gained 22.99% in the last year. On the other hand, the S&P 500 has only moved 0.37% and 5.38%, respectively.

Investors should also pay attention to LPLA's average 20-day trading volume. Volume is a useful item in many ways, and the 20-day average establishes a good price-to-volume baseline; a rising stock with above average volume is generally a bullish sign, whereas a declining stock on above average volume is typically bearish. LPLA is currently averaging 881,590 shares for the last 20 days.

Earnings Outlook

The Zacks Momentum Style Score encompasses many things, including estimate revisions and a stock's price movement. Investors should note tha t earnings estimates are also significant to the Zacks Rank, and a nice path here can be promising. We have recently been noticing this with LPLA.

Over the past two months, 2 earnings estimates moved higher compared to 1 lower for the full year. These revisions helped boost LPLA's consensus estimate, increasing from $6.09 to $6.33 in the past 60 days. Looking at the next fiscal year, 2 estimates have moved upwards while there have been 1 downward revision in the same time period.

Bottom Line

Given these factors, it shouldn't be surprising that LPLA is a #2 (Buy) stock and boasts a Momentum Score of A. If you're looking for a fresh pick that's set to soar in the near-term, make sure to keep LPL Financial on your short list.

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

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (LPLA): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

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.

In This Story

LPLA

Other Topics

Investing Stocks

Latest Markets Videos

Zacks

Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at www.zacks.com.

Learn More