By David Powers
Below is a list of 5 heavily traded stocks that have been trading up over the last month or so, and most have been steadily climbing since 12/30/11. They all have high RSIs, ADXs, bullish analyst sentiment and are certainly worth keeping an eye on next week and the weeks to follow.
1. Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW) RSI: 75.79 ADX: 56.9
Monster Worldwide describes itself as the parent company of Monster.com, the premier global online employment solution for people seeking jobs and the employers who need great people. It has been doing this for over ten years, and has expanded from its roots as a "job board" to a global provider of a full array of job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management products and services.
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Its stock currently trades at $9.11 with 123.09M shares out, giving it a market cap of $1.12B. Institutional ownership stands at about 92%, with the short interest as of 02/15/12 being 14.58M. Shares of MWW are up about 25% over the last month.
The average analyst consensus price target is $11.50.
On 02/15/12, Monster announced that it had landed its biggest contract in its history, inking a four-year agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK. On March 1st, the company's CEO, Sal Iannuzzi, gave the company's shares a 17% boost after announcing at an investor conference that:
The board and the management is also focused on pursuing all strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value.
2. Popular, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPOP) RSI: 72.82 ADX: 43.36
Popular is described as a diversified, publicly owned bank holding company. It operates in two markets: Puerto Rico and Mainland United States. In the Puerto Rico market, it provides retail and commercial banking services through its principal banking subsidiary, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. In The U.S. market, it operates Banco Popular North America, which is a community bank providing a range of financial services and products to the communities it serves.
Its stock currently trades at $1.91, with 1.03B shares out, giving it a market cap of $1.96B. Institutional ownership stands at about 71%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 at 15.87. Shares of BPOP are up more than 9% over the last month and 37.41% YTD.
The average analyst consensus price target is $2.875.
3. Express Scripts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) RSI: 61.95 ADX: 45.67
Express Scripts is described as a pharmacy benefit management [PBM] company in North America, offering a range of services to its clients, which include health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers' compensation plans and government health programs. It operates in two segments: PBM and Emerging Markets.
Its stock currently trades at $54.18 with 484.78M shares out, giving it a market cap of $26.27B. Institutional ownership is at 100%, with the short interest as of 02/29/12 at 93.48M. Shares of ESRX are up almost 8% over the last month and 21.23% YTD.
The average analyst consensus price target is $62.25.
On 07/23/11, the company signed a definitive merger agreement with Medco Health Solutions (NYSE:MHS), in which Medco shareholders are to receive $71.36 per share, in cash and stock. On 02/6/12 the company announced the pricing of a $3.5B senior note offering of its wholly owned subsidiary, Aristotle Holdings. A week ago, the FTC asked two pharmacy groups that oppose the Express Scripts/Medco merger to try to find ways to revise the merger agreement so that it will not negatively impact the mega-company's competitors. The FTC is expected to complete an antitrust review of the proposed Express Scripts/Medco deal.
4. Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) RSI: 70.48 ADX: 41.62
Valero Energy describes itself as a Fortune 50 company based in San Antonio and, through its subsidiaries, is the world's largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer. It supplies fuel and products that improve people's lives with 16 refineries and 10 ethanol plants stretching from the U.S. West and Gulf coasts to Canada, United Kingdom and the Caribbean.
Its stock currently trades at $28.56 with 555.07M shares out, giving it a market cap of $15.85B. Institutional ownership stands at about 78% with the short interest as of 02/15/12 at 13.79M. Shares of VLO are up nearly 15% over the last month and 35.67% YTD.
The average analyst consensus price target is $30.
Valero is a dividend payer that, at its peak on 07/13/07, traded as high as $77.25. The stock has been steadily climbing since the turn of the New Year, but has essentially been range-bound over the last 52 weeks. Much of the stock's recent surge may be attributed to the recent rise in oil and gas prices worldwide.
5. El Paso Corp. (EP) RSI: 78.11 ADX: 48.12
El Paso describes itself as a company that provides natural gas and related energy products in a safe, efficient, and dependable manner. It is organized around two core businesses: pipelines/exploration and production.
Its stock currently trades at $29.40 with 772.86M shares out, giving it a market cap of $22.72B. Institutional ownership stands at about 82% with the short interest as of 02/15/12 at 6.66M. Shares of EP are up a little more than 8% over the last month and 10.65% on the year.
The average analyst consensus price target is $28, but not really applicable at this point.
Shares of El Paso hit a new 52-week high on Friday when the stock traded at $29.41 just before the regular session's close. On 10/16/11, it was announced that Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) entered into a definitive agreement with El Paso to acquire all of its outstanding shares, much to the protest of many shareholders who disapproved of Kinder's cash, stock and warrant offer. The merger was eventually approved by shareholders on 03/09/12. On 02/24/12, Apollo Global Management and Riverstone Holdings, together, signed an agreement with El Paso to purchase its oil and gas exploration and production assets for roughly $7.15B. The deal is contingent upon the closing of the merger between El Paso and Kinder Morgan.
Disclosure: I am long (EP), (VLO).