My Leadership Screen produced five stocks that are leading the market this week:
3D Systems Corp. (DDD)
DDD continues to lead the charge of this current uptrend. After closing last week with a big up day on volume that was 23% above average, it opened this week by gapping up on Tuesday and closing with a 6% gain on 138% increased volume. It closed the week with a 4.9% gain in above average volume indicating still more accumulation is underway.
DDD has booked four consecutive up weeks and has increased in nine of the past ten weeks. It has only logged one week of distribution in the past four months. DDD is scheduled to report earnings on February 25. The relatively new 3D printing industry continues to be a leader of today’s markets.
Dorman Products Inc. (DORM)
DORM, which makes auto parts, has been trading above its 10 week moving average since the middle of June. It was up 6.6% on 54% above average volume last week. It gapped up Thursday on 249% greater than average volume and then added to those gains on Friday in 116% greater than average volume.
DORM reported earnings growth of 32% and sales growth of 20% in its most recent quarter. 2012 will be the fourth consecutive year of annual earnings growth. DORM also has a return on equity of 20% and is benefiting from the broad strength of its industry. It is schedule to report earnings on February 21.
Financial Engines Inc. (FNGN)
FNGN locked in big gains on above average volume in each of the four trading days last week. For the week, it was up 7.6% in volume that was 45% above average. This was the seventh up week in a row for the stock, which broke out of a nicely shaped base in early November.
In its most recent quarter, FNGN has reported earnings growth of 63% and sales growth of 36%. 2012 earnings are projected to increase 32% over 2011. The return on equity is only 9% and fund ownership has not increased dramatically, but FNGN is benefiting from the overall strength of the financial sector. It is scheduled to report earnings on February 21.
Lithia Motors Inc. (LAD)
LAD had a strong up day on Wednesday in 42% above average volume, but then retreated in lighter volume on Thursday. It then regained some of those gains on Friday. For the week, the stock rose 2.5%, closing right in the middle of its range on below average volume. This was its third up week out of the past four weeks.
In its most recent quarter, LAD reported earnings growth of 48% and sales growth of 24%. Annual earnings for 2012 are expected to be a 48% improvement over 2011. Its return on equity is a little low at 15% and it hasn’t done much this year in terms of increasing fund ownership, but its retail auto industry has been pretty strong. LAD is scheduled to report earnings on February 20.
SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA)
SODA rose 2.1% in volume that was over 300% above average on Tuesday, however it did close in the bottom half of that day’s range. It then improved on those gains in each of the next three days, logging above average volume on both Wednesday and Friday. For the week, it was up 9.2% on 67% greater than average volume. It has been up in six of the last seven weeks.
In its most recent quarter, SODA reported earnings growth of 58% and sales growth of 49%. Annual earnings are projected to grow by 30% in 2012. Return on equity is 18% and fund ownership has decreased very slightly over the past four quarters. SODA is scheduled to report earnings on February 27.