It’s natural to want to buy into a rising stock, so much so that following upward trends as a market strategy has a name: momentum investing. It’s the art of following the upward trends – but not necessarily following the herd.
Momentum investing has its advocates and detractors, as do all investing styles; the key point for investors to remember is that past performance does not guarantee future returns. There’s no one sure path to success here, and every stock should be considered as a unique individual – which makes past performance a useful indicator, even if it’s not the only one.
So, with the risks understood, the reward can be substantial – some stocks do show prolonged trends on an upward slope. Using the TipRanks database, we’ve found two such stocks that boast a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating and considerable upside potential – on top of impressive recent gains. Let’s take a closer look.
The first momentum stock we’ll look at, Identiv, is a tech company providing solutions for authentication and security systems online. Identiv’s products protect users’ identity, and prevent malware and other malicious attacks in the IoT world. The importance – and value – of this niche can be seen in the company’s share growth over the past year. INVE is up 65% year-to-date, and longer term, over the past 12 months, the stock has gained 404%.
The strong share growth has gone hand-in-hand with strong revenue growth. The company reported 31% year-over-year top-line growth, to $24.8 million, in 4Q20, along with solid prospects going forward. Entering Q1, the company had $10.5 million in backlogged orders, a 121% gain over the year before. Growth was driven by gains in the company’s RFID segment, which was up over 100% yoy, and in the Identity segment, which registered a 53% yoy gain.
While revenues were solid, earnings were down. EPS had been positive in Q3, but turned negative in Q4, coming in at a 5-cent net loss per share, and missing the expectation of a 1-cent EPS profit. Investors have not appeared too concerned by the earnings loss; Identiv’s historical earnings pattern is to show a Q4 loss after a Q3 profit, and the 4Q20 loss was 7 cents per share less than the year-ago result.
Management has moved to take advantage of the company’s rising share value, by putting a public offering of stock earlier this month. The offering, of 3.78 million shares at $10.65 each, closed on April 12 and raised – before expenses – over $40 million.
There’s a lot here to get an analyst’s attention, and 5-star analyst Craig Ellis of B. Riley initiated coverage of this stock with a Buy rating and a $21 price target, indicating ~50% one-year upside potential. (To view Ellis’s track record, click here)
“We believe the recent capital raise is transformative and will accelerate growth from 10% over the past two years to +20% as the company broadens its RFID IoT portfolio. To start, $38M in net proceeds suggests $50M in incremental sales potential at current GMs,” Ellis opined.
The analyst added, “We believe that INVE’s custom engagement, design, and prototype model is strong and that CY22 proceeds sales conversion is likely, led by RFID IoT, where 3Q20 and 4Q20 sales surged 100% Y/Y and where CY21TD backlog is robust. Success with healthcare, consumer electronics, and medical devices early adopters could tilt high-volume industries INVE’s way, thus enriching growth.”
Ellis is not outlier in his view of this stock; there are 3 recent reviews on file here, and all are to buy, making the analyst consensus a unanimous Strong Buy. The shares are priced at $14.04, with an average target of $17.33 suggesting room for 23% growth in the year ahead. (See INVE stock analysis on TipRanks)
Next up, Tronox, is a miner and manufacturer of specialty metals used in the production of titanium chemicals. The company mines titanium ores and zircon, and uses them in the production of titanium dioxide and chemical sands, both essential ingredients in industrial dyes. The company’s products are found in a range of everyday products, including paints, papers, and plastics, and useful byproducts of the manufacturing process include caustic soda and gypsum.
While the industry lacks the cachet of high-tech, it is still vital to the modern economy, and Tronox has ridden that fact to a 37% year-to-date share gain. For the past 12 months, the stock’s gain has been 224%.
For the full-year 2020, Tronox showed a top line of $2.76 billion, up 4.5% from 2019. The 4Q20 results show that the top line gains are accelerating – the fourth quarter revenues of $783 million were up 13.6% yoy. The company saw quarterly titanium dioxide sales volume increase 8% yoy in the fourth quarter, indicating improved global demand as world economies reopen. Looking ahead, Tronox expects titanium dioxide sales to continue gaining, in the range of 11% to 15% for 1Q21.
With all of that in the background, BMO analyst John McNulty listed TROX as one of his top picks for 2021
“Rarely can we recall a time when the stars aligned in such a way that the risk/reward pointed to dramatic upside potential with relatively minimal risk–the current outlook for TiO2 and TROX is one of those times. TiO2 is poised for a steady tightening over the next 2-3 years, driving volumes and prices higher,” McNulty noted.
The analyst summed up, “We listed TROX as one of our top picks for 2021 for a host of reasons, including our belief that the strength of the cycle would surprise investors in the near term on the volume side and in the intermediate term on the pricing side.”
In line with this upbeat outlook, McNulty rates TROX shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $29 price target implies a one-year upside potential of 45%. (To watch McNulty’s track record, click here)
The analyst consensus on this stock is not unanimous – but it is decisive. The reviews break down 4 to 1 in favor of Buy versus Hold, for a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average price target of $24.40 suggests a 22% upside for the next 12 months. (See TROX stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.