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3 Summer Stock Winners to (Hay)Ride This Fall

The mantra “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” often applies to the stock market. As momentum traders will tell you, sometimes the best strategy is to si...

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This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

With the fall season approaching, summer picnics and days at the beach will soon be replaced with fall hayrides and Halloween festivities.

Depositphotos.com contributor/Depositphotos.com - MarketBeat

If you’re a stock investor, you’re likely planning out trades that will push your portfolio to new heights during the final months of the year. And with many stocks trading near all-time highs it can be difficult to find the next wave of outperformers.

Fortunately, the mantra “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” often applies to the stock market. As momentum traders will tell you, sometimes the best strategy is to simply ride the recent winners.

Here are three summer stock outperformers that are likely to continue moving higher as the fall days get shorter.

Will Moderna Stock Keep Going Up?

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) shares skyrocketed 125%. That’s more than double the return of the next closest S&P 500 stock.

Moderna has become a household name during the pandemic as one of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. This has brought incredible financial success to the company and last quarter’s results made that clear. Second quarter revenue of $4.4 billion was 65-times the revenue recorded in the prior year quarter and earnings per share (EPS) was a staggering $6.46 compared to a $0.31 per share loss the year before.

And even though roughly three-fourths of Americans have received at least one vaccination, there is plenty of growth ahead for Moderna. The FDA recently approved a third dose of its COVID vaccine for people with compromised immune systems. In Europe, the Moderna vaccine has been recommended for children 12 years and up. The messenger RNA vaccine is also being evaluated in other parts of the world for adolescents and further approvals hold the potential to significantly expand Moderna’s market.

Moderna has locked in purchase agreements worth as much as $20 billion for next year and has already begun securing purchase orders for 2023. Unfortunately, there is no clear end in sight to COVID-19 with new variants emerging. There is therefore no end in sight to Moderna’s stock price ascent with the company positioned to remain on the battleground’s front lines.

Is Albemarle a Good Lithium Play?

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is another stock that broke out this summer having climbed 45% since June. The chemical producer has become of the key players in the booming lithium market with the metal in heavy demand as an input in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Lithium carbonate prices have doubled since the start of 2021 as EV battery makers have scrambled to secure supply of the silvery-white element to keep up with demand from EV car manufacturers. Albemarle’s better than expected Q2 performance was largely driven by strength in the lithium business as well as higher sales of bromine.

In the near-term Albemarle is expected to benefit from more of the same. As battery makers pare down their lithium inventories, they’ll need to restock to keep pace with EV manufacturing in an improving global economy. Longer term, Albemarle is in the driver’s seat to benefit from growing demand for lithium as global automakers accelerate their EV plans in conjunction with government mandates.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the lithium market is forecast to grow at a 10% clip from 2021 to 2026. As one of the leading players in the market, Albemarle and its share price will be going along for the ride.

Is ServiceNow Stock Still a Buy?

ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) stock has advanced 43% over the last three months due to a strong first half performance. Rising interest in the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings for enterprises in a wide range of industries has led to some strong top-line growth including 32% last quarter.

The same catalyst that brought the stock to fresh record highs this summer remains in place. Businesses of all types are gravitating to hybrid work models creating a need for cloud-based software solutions that can automate and track IT workflows. This makes them more efficient and cost-effective. It is a trend that appears here to stay which means banks, consumer products companies, healthcare organizations, and more will continue to enlist the help of ServiceNow.

In fact, ServiceNow is still in the early stages of a long-term growth opportunity as enterprises embrace the digital transformation. Its core service management applications will continue to be a source of strong subscription-based revenue which account for all but 5% of overall company revenue. Additional growth is expected to come in the form of new product launches and entering new product categories. Overseas expansion will also be a key theme to watch with approximately 70% of sales currently coming from U.S. customers.

ServiceNow’s $600-plus share price shouldn’t be a deterrent to investors. As we learned this summer, even high-priced stocks can deliver outsized returns. With the wind at its back and several analysts calling the stock a buy, NOW is as good a time as any to ride the momentum.