Follow The Leaders – 2-1-13

On Assignment Inc (ASGN)

On Assignment Inc (ASGN)

ASGN was up 4.1% on 39% greater than average volume this week. The biggest chunk of that gain came on Thursday, when it was up 3.8% in 34% greater than average volume. It added to those gains on Friday, increasing another 1.8% on volume that was 9% above average.

Despite the fact that earnings growth has been decelerating, ASGN still posted earnings growth of 62% in its most recent quarter. Sales growth on the other hand, has been consistently improving and was 139% in its most recent quarter. ASGN is scheduled to report earnings on February 14. Annual earnings are projected to be up 68% for 2012.

Evercore Partners Inc (EVR)

EVR had an outstanding week, logging an increase of 8.6% in volume that was 242% above average after reporting earnings that topped estimates. The stock was up slightly on Monday and Tuesday and then rocketed upward on Wednesday. EVR then added to those gains in increasing volume on both Thursday and Friday.

The reason for the big jump was the rock solid earnings report. In the fourth quarter of 2012, EVR logged earnings growth of 153% and sales growth of 87%. This locked in 2012 as its third straight year of increasing earnings, which are projected to keep growing at over 20% through 2014.

Lithia Motors Inc (LAD)

LAD was up 5.1% on 34% greater than average volume this week. The stock had a see-saw week where it jumped up on Monday and Tuesday, then retreated on Wednesday only to bounce back on Thursday and head even higher on Friday. While volume was slightly higher than average on Thursday and Friday, Monday was the only day with significantly higher volume.

In its most recent quarter, LAD reported earnings growth of 48% and sales growth of 24%. Annual earnings are on pace to show growth of 48% for 2012 and have been increasing every year since 2008. LAD is scheduled to report earnings on February 20.

Ocwen Financial Corp (OCN)

OCN rose 6.3% for the week on volume that was just slightly below average. Thursday was the key day this week where the stock broke out of its consolidation on 83% greater than average volume only to close back below its buy point. It put in another positive day on Friday, but still closed below the buy point of its consolidation.

OCN had a monster week in October after reporting earnings growth of 95% and sales growth of 90% for the third quarter. It is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings on February 23. Annual earnings growth is projected to be 86% for 2012 and then 212% for 2013. With that kind of earnings growth, the sky is the limit for OCN.

Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR)

WDR increased 5.6% this week on volume that was 61% above average. Tuesday was the most exciting day of the week. The stock the stock soared to a new high in huge volume only to retreat and close in the bottom half of the day’s range. WDR was able to put in positive days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but wasn’t able to retake the high of the day from Tuesday.

The reason for the dramatic rise and fall on Tuesday was WDR releasing earnings before the open. The company reported earnings growth of 33% and sales growth of 11%, beating estimates. This closed out the company’s third straight year of annual earnings growth. Annual earnings are projected to increase 11% in 2013 and 14% in 2014.