If you think the markets are going to become more volatile in the near future, you may be interested in this list.
We ran a screen on stocks trading under $5 for those significantly discounted from even their lowest (most pessimistic) target prices. We then screened these stocks for those with strongly positive correlations to VIX, the volatility index (or "fear gauge"), over the last three months.
The VIX index measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options, and it increases when market uncertainty takes over. If a stock has positive historical correlation with the VIX, it has tended to perform well when volatility and uncertainty spike. The market may be treating these stocks as "safe havens" during market crises.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.
Do you think volatility is near? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.
List sorted by potential upside implied by target price.
1. UniTek Global Services, Inc. (UNTK): Target price at $5.00 vs. current price at $3.71 (implies a potential upside of 34.77%). Correlation with the VIX index at 0.739 over the last 60 days.
2. Geokinetics Inc. (GOK): Provides seismic data acquisition, and seismic data processing and interpretation services to the oil and natural gas industry. Target price at $3.00 vs. current price at $2.24 (implies a potential upside of 33.93%). Correlation with the VIX index at 0.548 over the last 60 days.
3. Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (ASTM): Engages in developing autologous cell therapies for the treatment of severe and chronic cardiovascular diseases. Target price at $2.50 vs. current price at $1.99 (implies a potential upside of 25.63%). Correlation with the VIX index at 0.742 over the last 60 days.
4. TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TSYS): Develops and applies secure mobile communication technology in the United States and internationally. Target price at $3.50 vs. current price at $2.92 (implies a potential upside of 19.86%). Correlation with the VIX index at 0.685 over the last 60 days.
*Price data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.