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The following is a list of stocks that have recently reached new 52-week highs on unusually high volume. For each stock, we'll list Wednesday's relative volume indicator, which expresses today's volume as a multiple of the 3-month average daily volume.

In addition, all of these stocks have seen significant institutional buying over the last three months. The smart money seems to think there's more upside to these names, what do you think?

We last wrote about this screen on October 28, 2010. On that day, the screen produced 14 companies. Since then, 10 out of 14 companies mentioned in that article have outperformed the S&P 500 index (a success rate of 71.43%). The screen averaged a return of 9.78% vs. an index return of 4.79%. Click here to access a full breakdown of the screen's past performance.

Institutional data sourced from Reuters, performance and short float data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare the market caps of the top five stocks mentioned below. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the 12-month forward P/E ratio.


The list has been sorted by the change in institutional ownership over the last three months.

1. Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN): Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $591.11M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 3.18. Institutional investors currently own 47,668,869 shares vs. 32,618,263 shares held three months ago (+46.14% change). Short float at 3.88%, which implies a short ratio of 0.98 days. The stock has gained 366.14% over the last year.

2. Vantage Drilling Company (VTG): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $621.61M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 4.11. Institutional investors currently own 116,405,878 shares vs. 88,190,151 shares held three months ago (+31.99% change). Short float at 3.27%, which implies a short ratio of 3.93 days. The stock has gained 27.22% over the last year.

3. Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $679.04M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 2.33. Institutional investors currently own 41,482,148 shares vs. 37,506,528 shares held three months ago (+10.6% change). Short float at 0.2%, which implies a short ratio of 0.5 days.

4. Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. (EBS): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $733.63M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 3.95. Institutional investors currently own 18,530,769 shares vs. 17,235,501 shares held three months ago (+7.52% change). Short float at 4.39%, which implies a short ratio of 6.51 days. The stock has gained 60.93% over the last year.

5. EXFO Inc (EXFO): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $399.57M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 4.22. Institutional investors currently own 15,594,798 shares vs. 14,885,696 shares held three months ago (+4.76% change). Short float at 0.54%, which implies a short ratio of 6.5 days. The stock has gained 78.95% over the last year.

6. Joy Global, Inc. (JOYG): Farm & Construction Machinery Industry. Market cap of $8.28B. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 3.94. Institutional investors currently own 94,244,503 shares vs. 90,027,041 shares held three months ago (+4.68% change). Short float at 3.83%, which implies a short ratio of 2.38 days. The stock has gained 49.95% over the last year.

7. Capital Southwest Corporation (CSWC): Diversified Investments Industry. Market cap of $394.53M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 2.97. Institutional investors currently own 1,741,284 shares vs. 1,670,967 shares held three months ago (+4.21% change). Short float at 2.41%, which implies a short ratio of 14.52 days. The stock has gained 34.07% over the last year.

8. Finisar Corp. (FNSR): Networking & Communication Devices Industry. Market cap of $1.94B. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 1.92. Institutional investors currently own 77,845,508 shares vs. 74,751,095 shares held three months ago (+4.14% change). Short float at 14.87%, which implies a short ratio of 3.6 days. The stock has gained 193.69% over the last year.

9. Rural/Metro Corp. (RURL): Consumer Services Industry. Market cap of $354.48M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 1.49. Institutional investors currently own 18,686,074 shares vs. 17,967,020 shares held three months ago (+4.% change). Short float at 3.05%, which implies a short ratio of 5.56 days. The stock has gained 151.8% over the last year.

10. Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB): Shipping Industry. Market cap of $548.12M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 1.98. Institutional investors currently own 8,276,009 shares vs. 8,028,185 shares held three months ago (+3.09% change). Short float at 1.56%, which implies a short ratio of 2.92 days. The stock has gained 8.05% over the last year.

11. CompuCredit Holdings Corp. (CCRT): Credit Services Industry. Market cap of $346.46M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 2.83. Institutional investors currently own 12,770,104 shares vs. 12,474,165 shares held three months ago (+2.37% change). Short float at 12.53%, which implies a short ratio of 46.7 days. The stock has gained 146.76% over the last year.

12. Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (SFE): Diversified Investments Industry. Market cap of $328.82M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 1.85. Institutional investors currently own 11,943,455 shares vs. 11,677,977 shares held three months ago (+2.27% change). Short float at 3.54%, which implies a short ratio of 8.55 days. The stock has gained 68.11% over the last year.

13. Opko Health, Inc. (OPK): Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $944.83M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 2.37. Institutional investors currently own 21,271,533 shares vs. 20,817,109 shares held three months ago (+2.18% change). Short float at 4.79%, which implies a short ratio of 16.04 days. The stock has gained 126.99% over the last year.

14. First Financial Corp. (THFF): Regional Bank. Market cap of $457.09M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 1.71. Institutional investors currently own 5,503,280 shares vs. 5,386,510 shares held three months ago (+2.17% change). Short float at 3.41%, which implies a short ratio of 18.63 days. The stock has gained 19.9% over the last year.

15. Resolute Energy Corporation (REN): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $766.39M. The stock reached a new high with Relative Volume at 5.74. Institutional investors currently own 60,297,901 shares vs. 59,263,586 shares held three months ago (+1.75% change). Short float at 7.93%, which implies a short ratio of 25.47 days.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 15 Stocks Reaching New Highs on Strong Volume, Institutional Buying