“Momentum feeds upon itself. Think about the manager who manages $100 million, but then receives another $100 million. What do they typically do? They go buy the same stocks they already own,” said Jason Mann, portfolio manager and co-founder of alternative asset manager EdgeHill Partners.
This quote from Mann is from the book Market Masters by Robin Speziale. The momentum investor is discussing the role volume plays in the potential selection of stocks for the EHP Advantage Fund, a fund he manages that’s delivered 23% compound annual growth since its inception in May 2013.
Mann buys undervalued stable stocks that are rising in value. Using a rules-driven approach, he’s done very well betting on stocks that are down but not out. Generally, Mann says, when a stock gets moving in a particular direction, it tends to stay in that direction for a period of time.
Now, there’s a lot more to his system obviously, but one of the big things he leans on for his long positions is a daily volume that’s consistently rising above its three-month average. If that’s happening—and the stock price is moving higher—it’s a potential sign the pros are moving into the stock.
Here are three value stocks showing increasing daily volumes and why now might be the time to start watching for a good entry point.
Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC)
For those who don’t know Lucara, it owns 100% of a diamond mine in Botswana, which is expected to generate at least US$200 million in revenue in 2016 from the sale of 340,000 carats. Excluded from that number is the sale of the Constellation diamond, which sold for US$63.1 million and was 813 carats. They call this type of diamond an exceptional stone—and for good reason at US$77,000 a carat.
On November 28, Lucara’s daily volume approached 3.2 million, five times its three-month average of 607,000. In November, it’s had just one other day with volume greater than one million. On no news to speak of, RBC apparently sold a 2.8 million share block of Lucara stock with no indication of the buyer. Back that out, and we’re back to normal even sub-par volume.
However, from the time Lucara announced its third-quarter results on November 8, its stock has experienced seven consecutive days of daily volume above 607,000, yet its stock proceeded to fall in price, suggesting someone wanted to keep the share price down long enough to buy that big block.
Lucara had a very strong run in the first six months of 2016; that’s why it’s up 92% year-to-date. I’m not sure Mann would consider it a value stock, but it’s not expensive either at nine times cash flow. It possesses a 1.8% dividend yield despite the run-up and has momentum on its side.
In July, I said Lucara could have a double-digit stock price within three to five years. I’m sticking with that assessment.
CRH Medical Corp. (TSX:CRH)(NYSE:CRHM)
The stock had been on a nice run—up 29% in November—until it got slammed November 28 on 2.1 million shares, or five times the three-month average volume. Dropping 16% on the day, the anesthesia product and services provider is still up 70% year-to-date due in large part to its acquisition-growth strategy in the U.S. healthcare market.
As Fool.ca contributor Kay Ng points out, it’s not exactly cheap at 25 times its estimated fiscal 2017 earnings. However, when you’re growing EBITDA by 61% year over year, that valuation doesn’t seem nearly as silly.
It’s probably why RBC analysts upped its 12-month price target November 28 to $8.50 from $7. Interestingly, the bank lowered its sector rating on CRH from “outperform” to “sector perform,” providing investors with a reason to take profits after such a great 2016.
Like Lucara, until its 16% slap down November 28, CRH had seen a number of days with volume greater than its three-month average of 408,000. Unlike Lucara, CRH had been trending higher as its volume picked up in November.
Long term, CRH has a lot of potential, and while not technically a value play, I would say that with the markdown in its share price, you’re getting growth at a reasonable price.
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Fool contributor Will Ashworth has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of CRH Medical. CRH Medical is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.