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Why This 1 Computer and Technology Stock Could Be a Great Addition to Your Portfolio

Wondering how to pick strong, market-beating stocks for your investment portfolio? Look no further than the Zacks Focus List.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Here at Zacks, we offer our members many different opportunities to take full advantage of the stock market, as well as how to invest in ways that lead to long-term success.

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The Zacks Premium service, which provides daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank; full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List; Equity Research reports; and Premium stock screens like the Earnings ESP filter, makes these more manageable goals. All of the features can help you identify what stocks to buy, what to sell, and what are today's hottest industries.

Also included in Zacks Premium is the Focus List. This is a long-term portfolio of top stocks that have all the traits to beat the market.

Breaking Down the Zacks Focus List

If you could, wouldn't you jump at the chance for access to a curated list of stocks to kickstart your investing journey?

Enter the Zacks Focus List. It's a portfolio made up of 50 stocks that are set to beat the market over the next 12 months; each company selected serves as a foundation for long-term investors looking to create an individual portfolio.

Additionally, each selection is accompanied by a full Zacks Analyst Report, something that makes the Focus List even more valuable. The report explains in detail why each stock was picked and why we believe it's good for the long-term.

The portfolio's past performance only solidifies why investors should consider it as a starting point. For 2020, the Focus List gained 13.85% on an annualized basis compared to the S&P 500's return of 9.38%. Cumulatively, the portfolio has returned 2,519.23% while the S&P returned 854.95%. Returns are for the period of February 1, 1996 to March 31, 2021.

Focus List Methodology

When stocks are picked for the Focus List, it reflects our enduring reliance on the power of earnings estimate revisions.

Earnings estimates are expectations of growth and profitability, and are determined by brokerage analysts. Together with company management, these analysts examine every aspect that may affect future earnings, like interest rates, the economy, and sector and industry optimism.

Earnings estimate revisions are very important, since investors also need to take into consideration what a company will earn in the future.

When a stock receives upward earnings estimate revisions, it will likely get even more positive changes in the future. For instance, if an analyst raised their earnings outlook last month, they'll probably do so again this month, and other analysts will follow.

Utilizing the power of earnings estimate revisions is when the Zacks Rank joins the party. A unique, proprietary stock-rating model, the Zacks Rank uses changes to quarterly earnings expectations to help investors create a winning portfolio.

The Zacks Rank consists of four main pillars: Agreement, Magnitude, Upside, and Surprise. Each one is given a raw score, which is recalculated every night and compiled into the Rank. Then, stocks are classified into five groups, ranging from "Strong Buy" to "Strong Sell," using this data.

The Focus List is comprised of stocks hand-picked from a long list of #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) ranked companies, meaning that each new addition boasts a bullish earnings consensus among analysts.

Since stock prices respond to revisions, it can be very profitable to buy stocks with rising earnings estimates. By buying Focus List stocks, then, you're likely getting into companies whose future earnings estimates will be raised, potentially leading to price momentum.

Focus List Spotlight: Microsoft MSFT

Redmond, WA-based Microsoft Corporation is one of the largest broad-based technology providers in the world. The company dominates the PC software market with more than 80% of the market share for operating systems.

MSFT, a #2 (Buy) stock, was added to the Focus List on February 1, 2016 at $55.09 per share. Since then, shares have increased 424.16% to $288.76.

For fiscal 2022, one analyst revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate sits at $8.64 per share. MSFT boasts an average earnings surprise of 16.9%.

Earnings for MSFT are forecasted to see growth of 8.4% for the current fiscal year as well.

Another standout Focus List stock you could consider is Visa Inc. V. Visa is a financial transaction processing company that offers a wide range of branded payment products like credit, debit, and prepaid cards.

Visa is a #2 (Buy)-ranked stock, and shares have gained almost 140% since being added to the portfolio.

Two analysts have raised their earnings outlook for the current fiscal year, with Visa's bottom line now expected to rise 15.5% year-over-year; the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0.04 to $5.82 per share. Additionally, Visa has an average earnings surprise of 9.03%.

Reveal Winning Stocks

Unlock all of our powerful research, tools and analysis, including the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research Reports, Zacks Earnings ESP Filter, Premium Screener and more, as part of Zacks Premium. You'll quickly identify which stocks to buy, hold and sell, and target today's hottest industries, to help improve the performance of your portfolio. Gain full access now >>



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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

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