Research by some of the brightest minds in finance has shown that cheap stocks that are just catching the attention of the market can potentially deliver excellent returns. The findings show that a potent mix of Value & Momentum can be very desirable in some shares - and there are signs that Sureserve (LON:SUR) might be one of them.
Quants, fund managers and institutional investors agree that value and momentum are powerful factors. Whether it's investment legends like James O'Shaughnessy and Charles Kirkpatrick or modern day hedge fund giants like Cliff Asness... cheap stocks on the move hold great appeal.
But what is it that makes Value & Momentum such a successful stock market strategy and how does this apply to Sureserve (LON:SUR)?
The value component…
Cheap stocks have been shown to outperform expensive stocks over long-time frames. Therefore, finding stocks with a high Earnings Yield and low Price to Sales can be a good place to start in identifying attractively priced stocks.
The Earnings Yield takes a company’s profits and compares it to its current market valuation (enterprise value). Using the enterprise value takes into account cash and debt and the calculation gives us a good idea of the total value of the stock. Expressed as a percentage, a high Earnings Yield is a good sign of value. A good rule of thumb can be to look for an Earnings Yield above 5%, Sureserve beats this comfortably, with an Earnings Yield of 9.85%.
The Price to Sales ratio tells us how cheap/expensive a company is relative to its current sales. The calculation is quite straightforward, taking the current share price and dividing this by its sales per share. A Price to Sales ratio of less than 1 is said to offer good value. Sureserve is well below this level, with a Price to Sales ratio of 0.32.
However, exposure to value as the only factor can increase the risk of finding value traps, which are cheap for a reason and often fail to recover.
… and the momentum driver
Although momentum inherently goes against investor psychology, it has proven to be one of the greatest tools investors can use when combined with other factors such as quality and value.
Trend following and momentum investing are often very effective strategies, although when momentum turns losses can mount quite quickly. Whilst value can take time to be realised momentum works very well during bullish, trending periods. To assess price momentum we can use Relative Strength, which compares the share price change to the underlying market index over a specified period of time.
Outperformance and strong momentum is a good indicator that a share might continue its upward trend. Sureserve’s Relative Strength over the past 6 months stands at an impressive 22.9%.
Finding cheap stocks where momentum is positively turning around is no easy task, but Sureserve seems to have good qualifying attributes. It is always important to carry out further due diligence on a stock before making any final buying decisions though. The Sureserve StockReport is a good place to start. A StockReport contains a wealth of information about a company’s value, quality and momentum characteristics and its historical financial data.
If you’d like to find more potential Value & Momentum stocks like Sureserve, then check out Stockopedia’s screening tool. Our team of financial analysts have carefully crafted this Value & Momentum screen set up, but you can also scour for stocks in the market using your very own customised screening parameters. You can find out more about how Stockopedia’s screener works here.