It is time for another look at the screener results on our Stock Score Report. We launched our screener last year, knowing that by combining both technical and fundamental data in our screen we would be able to consistently find top buy candidates at the top of the rankings.
While a lot of investors rely solely on technical research, and a lot rely solely on fundamental data, we believe that a combined approach is the best way to screen the overall stock universe in order to find the strongest buy candidates at any given time.
Stocks that get high technical scores have obviously shown market strength, but long and short-term, but in order to maintain that strength moving forward a company has to possess solid underlying fundamentals to keep driving profits higher and taking the stock higher at the same time.
We have found that a lot of the same names have remained near the top of the rankings through 2018, and while that remains the case today, there are always some new names that show up worth taking a closer look at.
This week’s list features both new and old names, each of which get top scores and appear well positioned to build on recent strength.
Apparel retail chain Boot Barn (BOOT) has stayed near the top of the rankings all year, and the stock currently gets an overall Stock Score Report score of 90, with a near perfect long-term technical score of 99. The stock has enjoyed steady gains over the last year and is currently just pennies under its 52-week high and approaching an all-time high. BOOT stock has enjoyed strong earnings growth as of late, with profits expected to rise 50% during 2018, and by 25% per annum over the next five years. The company has posted estimate topping results for the top and bottom line each of the last three quarters and will not report earnings again until early November. BOOT trades at $31.00 with a $28.75 average price target.
Nomad Foods (NOMD) is a mid-cap frozen foods distributor based in the United Kingdom that serves Western Europe. The stock has been in a strong upward trend since April, and the Stock Score Report currently gives it an overall score of 93, putting it near the very top of the overall stock universe. NOMD has very strong technical scores, and a near perfect fundamental score of 98. NOMD has a low forward P/E of 13.9 with earnings forecast to rise 15.5% per annum over the next five years. The stock is currently trading at $20.56 with an average price target of $22.20.
Jacobs Engineering (JEC) provides technical, professional and construction services. Stock Score Report gives JEC an overall score of 89 with very high technical scores. The stock got off to a rough start in 2018 with the overall market, but shares have trended sharply higher over the last four months, and JEC is currently trading at its 52-week high. Despite being at its 52-week high JEC continues to trade at a reasonable price, with a forward P/E of just 14 and earnings expected to rise 35% in 2018 and by an average 16% annually over the next five years. The stock’s gains have been fueled by a string of four consecutive quarterly reports that topped estimates on both the top and bottom line, and the company will not report again until November 5. In the most recent quarter, earnings rose 70% year over year while sales were up 68% year over year. JEC is trading at $74.70 with an average price target of $78.60.
AMETEK (AME) manufactures electronic instruments and devices. Stock Score Report gives AME an overall score of 88. The stock is currently trading at $79.61, just off its all-time high of $80.21. AMETEK last reported earnings at the end of July, with earnings and sales up 27% and 14% respectively. Both results topped analyst estimates for the quarter, marking the sixth consecutive quarter were both numbers outpaced forecasts. Earnings have been on the rise, and over the next five years analysts forecast profits to rise by 13.8% per annum. AME will next report earnings at the end of October. Analysts have an average price target of $87.90 on the stock.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s (LOW) was near the top of the list last week, and it remains near the top with a current overall score from the Stock Score Report of 88, down slightly from its 89 score last week. The company continues to benefit from a strong housing market, and earnings are expected to rise by 18.5% during the current year and an additional 15.4% in 2019. With a forward P/E of 18.9, the stock appears reasonably priced given the strong earnings growth analysts forecast. After taking a beating in February on a disappointing quarterly report the stock rallied before trading sideways on a disappointing Q1 report in May. Investors finally got some good news in August with Q2 numbers that topped estimates on both the top and bottom line which drove the stock to a new record high. LOW currently trades at $113.61, just below its all-time high $114.53 and analysts have an average price target of $114.36 on the stock.