Thursday was a very volatile trading day as the Dow Jones traded in a 115 point range before finally stabilizing and closing with gains of 46 points. As a result of this volatility there were several stocks that traded lower and were unable to recover. But on the other hand, there were several breakout stocks that posted huge gains and are showing signs of a future rally. Below is a list of five stocks that I believe could continue to trade higher over the next few trading days.
The three month chart for Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is beautiful for any investor who took advantage of its value presenting price, such as myself, during the month of December. Alcatel-Lucent has returned a gain of nearly 65% YTD, therefore some investors are thinking that it may be trading near resistance.
The stock was beaten down over the last 6 months of 2011, as investors believed that a struggling European economy and higher costs would affect its fundamentals. As a result the stock is still trading with a near 50% loss over the last year despite trading with its best fundamentals in over five years.
ALU is one of my favorite value plays in the entire market, which is obvious since I chose ALU as the stock with the second most upside in 2011. The stock has been resilient and simply refuses to fall. Almost everytime it opens lower it then recovers, and when it opens higher it continues to trade with larger gains throughout the day.
ALU is still an under-the-radar stock because it's not posting 15% or 20% single day gains and drawing the attention of investors. Instead it's returning 3% or 4% gains on a consistent basis with company changing developments and an increase in volume. Even with a 65% YTD gain, which includes a 32% gain since the company announced earnings, I believe it's poised to trade much higher. The stock is near the $2.60 level and I think that if ALU surpasses $2.60 then it's a straight shot to $3.00 and beyond.
In a previous article, I chose ALU as the stock with the second most upside in 2011, but I chose Sprint (NYSE:S) as the stock with the most upside in 2011. Sprint investors are just itching to be optimistic about the company's future; which resulted in large gains on Thursday. The stock traded higher by 8% after reports of T-Mobile's fleeing customers created the assumption that subscribers are increasing for Sprint.
The stock is now trading at $2.52, which has been a tough area of resistance for the stock. Sprint reached $2.50 prior to announcing earnings but has since fallen. The stock has only traded at this level on two occasions since the start of December, but I think if Sprint can surpass this level, and reach $2.65, then it could very well trade higher, much like ALU, over the next month.
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that Sprint's future is bright: The company posted a solid quarter with revenue gains and added a substantial amount of customers thanks to the iPhone. I believe the company's on the right track to achieving profitability and that Sprint will be a great story by the end of 2012.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) is yet another company that I believe has significant upside potential. The stock has returned gains of more than 100% over the last year, but has fallen off a ledge over the last month with an 11% loss. SPPI has now posted two days of consecutive gains as investors await earnings, next week, for one of the fastest growing companies in the market.
SPPI is trading at just 17.5x earnings, which is incredibly cheap for a company that is growing at such a rapid rate. The company has two approved drugs, a solid pipeline, and has announced numerous key developments to suggest future growth. In my opinion, the loss over the last month is nothing more than profit taking, but now that the company's announced that it will be releasing earnings on March 1, I expect continuous gains leading up till earnings and then even more following a blowout report. SPPI is a volatile stock that has the ability to change directions very abruptly. As earnings approach I anticipate a large number of investors buying the stock, resulting in gains, in preparation of yet another great quarter of triple digit growth.
The reverse split has not worked out quite as well as investors had hoped for Level 3 (NYSE:LVLT) . The stock is trading at 50% of its 52 week high despite posting one of its more impressive quarters earlier this month. LVLT has returned a 20% gain since announcing earnings on February 8, and on Thursday it popped another 13%. The stock's reaction to a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) upgrade shows the stock's ability to trade higher on little news. LVLT is still oversold and I believe that this rally could very well continue, and if not, I believe it will maintain its current price until another developments pushes it higher. As an investor, LVLT is definitely a stock to watch because it won't take much for it to trade higher and post very large gains.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) once again proved that analysts are incapable of predicting its growth. The stock traded with gains of 8% after posting Q4 results that reflected record Acthar sales and an EPS of $0.48 compared to $0.10 last year. As you can see from the above chart, the stock has traded significantly lower over the last three months, as a result of investor concerns regarding continued growth in sales of Acthar.
Acthar is a transcendent drug that treats a number of life-threatening diseases. The only problem is its high costs, and the fact that QCOR's success is directly dependent upon the continued success of this drug. As I said, investors were getting somewhat worried that sales would diminish, or at least slow, but in all reality sales were better than ever. The company showed remarkable growth, with 3,360 vials shipped, including substantial advancements in treating multiple sclerosis and nephrotic syndrome. I anticipate large gains in shares of QCOR over the next few months, and I wouldn't be surprised if QCOR is trading at 52 week highs by the end of next week. The quarterly results were amazing and its going to spark a whole new level of optimism among investors, which means a higher stock price.
The five companies being discussed all trade with a sense of concern among investors. With Sprint investors fear its debt load is too substantial; and despite much improved fundamentals investors are still concerned that European turmoil could affect Alcatel-Lucent's future earnings. Questcor has one of the most transcendent drugs in biotechnology but does trade with a large valuation and has some levels of risk because of its lack of diversification. And although Spectrum is probably the most undervalued biotech company in the market, and fastest growing, investors still find reasons to worry, surrounding patents and the cost of treatment. Finally, investors begged for Level 3 to purchase Global Crossing but now that the acquisition has occurred the stock has declined, with high costs.
The concerns surrounding these companies is, in my opinion, insignificant, but has kept the stock prices from appreciating which means that each stock now presents immediate upside. At current prices I think that each of these stocks are a buy and will trade higher in both the short and long-term. Regardless if you agree with my analysis or realize the same upside potential, each of these stocks are still worth watching, over the next few days, as momentum appears to be building which could result in additional gains.