Six Keys to Find Momentum Stocks

Momentum stock trading has been around for awhile and has been proven to a sound method for creating incredible wealth in the stock market. During the 1990s, for example, Clear Channel Communications went up 5,615%, Emulex rose 6,412%, Dell Computer went up 10,198%, Activision went up 13,819%, and Semtech rose 15,231%.

It is not uncommon to find stocks that accelerate in price that go on to make 100% to 300% returns in less than year or even in a few months. However, for beginning investors it can be a confusing and frustrating experience to find such stocks.

While many momentum stock traders all have different criteria when searching out tomorrow’s big winners there are typically six key steps when screening for a big winner.

They are:

1) Accelerating earnings or EPS (earnings per share). 2) Annual earnings up 25% or more in the last 3 years. 3) Minimum volume of 100,000 or at least increasing volume. 4) A 17% ROE (return on equity) or better. 5) Has leadership role in the market place. 6) Price at an all-time high.

Potential stocks for momentum trading should show strong fundamentals on there balance sheet and show that they are growing at an accelerated rate. By selecting stocks that are showing high EPS ratings and accelerating rates of growth over previous quarters you can be sure that you have a company that is growing out an above average rate. Wall Street loves earnings that are growing quickly and a company that does will be rewarded with institutional sponsorship by the big funds further causing share value to increase.

Momentum stocks also have shown that they are strong players in their market and prove there value by exhibiting strong annual earnings. Less than a 25% annual increase in annual earnings will not stimulate interest by the big mutual funds or investors resulting in a stock whose price will likely remain stagnant or increase in value at too slow a pace for momentum investing.

Stocks for consideration should have a daily average of 100,000 shares or at least see there average daily volume increase as the value of the stock rises. Any volume less than this shows little interest by the investment community and you could find yourself having trouble with liquidity in the stock if you need to sell and get out.

A potential stock should show a ROE of 17% or better. ROE is the net income divided by the number of shares held by investors. It shows the responsible return on capital by investors and the higher this ratio is the better for investors. In my opinion, this is one of the most important attributes for any stock investment.

Momentum stocks are also leaders in the market. When the major indices have declines true stock leaders exhibit strength by holding or even exceeding there highs or near there highs. When the major indices rally these leaders typically lead the rally and go on to make new highs and outpace the market.

Momentum stocks should also be traded at there all time highs. Buy trading at these levels at key technical entry points you are likely to ride the trend as the stock increases in share price. This type of characteristic increase your chances for profitability because a up trend in place is six times more likely to stay in place so you have the odds on your side.

You can stock for scans like these at Yahoo Financial or MSN Financial for free. Begin keeping a list of potential candidates and then track there performance. It may take a little practice but with time you will be able to spot the stocks that go on to make the big moves of 100% or more.

As with all types of investing keep in mind to cut your losers quickly and ride your winners with a good money management plan.

Good luck and good trading.