Azenta, Coterra, and Occidental are top for value, growth, and momentum

Azenta Inc., Coterra Energy Co., and Occidental Petroleum Corp. are the top performers in the Russell 1000 Index for value, growth, and momentum, respectively.

Life sciences company Azenta's plunging stock has turned it into one of the biggest values due to its fast-growing cell-and-gene-therapy storage business and $2 billion in cash. Coterra, the product of the 2021 merger of two energy exploration and production companies, is posting soaring profits and revenue thanks to the merger and rising energy prices. And Occidental has more than doubled in the past year as the oil and gas exploration company also benefits from advancing oil and gas prices. These rankings are based on an Investopedia analysis of YCharts data.

The stocks are leading their categories at a time when the Russell 1000 Index has lost a fifth of its value in the past year as many companies in the index grapple with a slowing economy, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and a series of rate hike in rates by the Federal Reserve.

Below, we list the top five stocks in each category - value, growth, and momentum - for a total of 15 companies. It's notable that almost half of the top performers are energy companies or energy-related companies whose earnings, revenue, and share prices have risen thanks to a surge in energy prices during the past year, even though these commodities have pulled back in recent months. The market performance numbers, and all data, are as of Nov. 3, except for data in the growth stocks table, which are as of Nov. 14.

Best Value Stocks

Value investing is a factor-based investing strategy that involves picking stocks that you believe are trading for less than what they are intrinsically worth, usually by measuring the ratio of the stock’s price to one or more fundamental business metrics. A widely accepted value metric is the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Value investors say that if a business is cheap compared to its intrinsic value (as measured by its P/E ratio, in this case), then the stock price may rise faster than that of others as the price comes back in line with the worth of the company. These are among the stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing P/E ratio.

Best Value Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Azenta Inc. (AZTA) 43.18 3.2 1.5
United States Steel Corp. (X) 18.96 4.4 1.6
Brighthouse Financial Inc. (BHF) 54.04 3.9 2.1
Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NLY) 17.61 8.2 2.2
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF) 11.87 6.1 2.6

Source: YCharts (as of Nov. 3)

  • Azenta Inc.: Azenta is a life sciences company providing sample management and genomic services including drug development, sample and material storage, as well as clinical trial management. Its customers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life sciences research companies. Azenta lost half of its value during the past year as it changed its name from Brooks Automation Inc., sold its semiconductor business, and poured the proceeds into its life sciences business. It has $2 billion in cash to expand its footprint further in life sciences.
  • United States Steel Corp.: United States Steel makes high value-added steel products, including its XG3 advanced high-strength steel, which is used by automakers to produce lighter-weight vehicles. It serves the automotive, construction, appliance, energy, containers, and packaging industries and has operations in the U.S. and Central Europe. U.S. Steel has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 26.2 million net tons. The company said in October that it will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.05 a common share on Dec. 8.
  • Brighthouse Financial Inc.: Brighthouse Financial is an insurance and investment management services company specializing in annuity and life insurance products. The company serves over two million customers and has $228 billion in total assets.
  • Annaly Capital Management Inc.: Annaly Capital Management operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). Its investment portfolio includes agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), residential real estate, and mortgage servicing rights. It has about $86 billion in total assets. The company on Oct. 26 reported a net loss in the third quarter compared with net income in the prior-year period. It also reported a year-over-year (YOY) decline in net interest income. The company said swings in interest rates and volatility drove the performance.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.: Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest flat-rolled steel company in North America and is involved in mining raw materials, primary steelmaking, and finishing. It employs 27,000 across 68 operating facilities. On Oct. 12, Cleveland-Cliffs said its labor agreement with the United Steelworkers had been ratified. The contract runs through Sept. 1, 2026 and covers roughly 12,000 employees.

Fastest Growing Stocks

These are the top stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore, ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of more than 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth Latest Quarter (%) Revenue Growth Latest Quarter (%)
Coterra Energy Inc. (CTRA) 28.13 22.2 837.5 472.7
Performance Food Group Co. (PFGC) 57.94 9.0 1,970 41.7
Tripadvisor Inc. (TRIP) 21.52 3.0 1,600 51.5
DTE Energy Co. (DTE) 113.05 21.9 1,430 41.4
Phillips 66 (PSX) 110.26 52.1 1,130 48.7

Source: YCharts (as of Nov. 14)

  • Coterra Energy Inc.: Coterra Energy is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations focused in the Permian Basin, Marcellus Shale, and Anadarko Basin. Its core position includes 234,000 net acres. On Nov. 3, Coterra reported that third-quarter net income rose 18-fold as revenue climbed about six-fold. The growth was driven by the performance of its oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) business, and by the October 2021 merger of Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Cimarex Energy Co into a new company named Coterra Energy.
  • Performance Food Group Co.: Performance Food Group is a food industry distributor and supplier operating over 150 locations across the U.S. and Canada. The company serves over 300,000 restaurant, business, healthcare facility, school, and other retailers. Performance Food Group reported that net income climbed by 20-fold on rising revenue for the quarter ending Oct. 1. The growth was driven by an increase in selling prices due to inflation and the acquisition of Core-Mark Holding Co., a supplier to the convenience retail industry.
  • Tripadvisor Inc.: Tripadvisor operates a travel platform with information on businesses, accommodations, and sites. The platform has over 1 billion reviews of nearly 8 million businesses. On Nov. 15, Tripadvisor announced the appointment of John Boris as chief marketing officer. Boris previously held executive roles at Shutterfly and Zagat.
  • DTE Energy Co.: DTE Energy is a utility that generates, sells, and distributes electricity and gas in Michigan. It operates other businesses involved in energy trading, industrial projects, and transportation. It serves 2.3 million electric customers and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. DTE Energy announced on Oct. 26 that net income rose nearly eighteen-fold on rising revenue during its third quarter. Key drivers included increased operating efficiency and a partnership with Ford Motor under which the automaker made one of the largest renewable energy purchases from a utility in U.S. history.
  • Phillips 66: Phillips 66 manufactures and transports energy products. Its businesses focus on midstream, chemicals, refining, and other areas. Phillips 66 in October announced a quarterly dividend of $0.97 a share payable on Dec. 1.

Stocks With the Most Momentum

Momentum investing is a factor-based investing strategy that involves investing in a stock whose price has risen faster than the market as a whole. Momentum investors believe that stocks that have outperformed the market will often continue to do so because the factors that caused them to outperform will not suddenly disappear. In addition, other investors seeking to benefit from the stock’s outperformance will often purchase the stock, further bidding its price higher and pushing the stock higher still. These are the stocks that had the highest total return over the past 12 months.

Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) 72.16 67.2 114.6
EQT Corp. (EQT) 39.35 14.4 95.0
Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) 31.42 21.3 93.1
Texas Pacific Land Corp. (TPL) 2,395.24 18.5 91.6
ConocoPhillips (COP) 133.82 170.4 91.6
Russell 1000 N/A N/A -20.6

Source: YCharts (as of Nov. 3)

  • Occidental Petroleum Corp.: Occidental Petroleum is an energy exploration and production company focused on oil, natural gas liquids, gas, and also chemicals. Its midstream business stores and transports oil, gas and other products. The company in November announced a quarterly dividend $0.13 a common share payable on Jan. 17 of next year.
  • EQT Corp.: EQT Corp. is a natural gas production company with operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. It is a major U.S. producer of natural gas. On Oct. 26, the company reported $684 million of net income attributable to EQT compared with net loss for the prior-year quarter. Results in the third quarter of last year were heavily impacted by a loss on derivatives.
  • Marathon Oil Corp.: Marathon Oil is an independent exploration and production company. Its primary operations are in the U.S. and Equatorial Guinea. Its U.S. operations are focused on four basins: Eagle Ford in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota, the STACK and SCOOP in Oklahoma, and the Permian in New Mexico. Marathon maintains a roughly 50/50 oil/natural gas and natural gas liquids production mix.
  • Texas Pacific Land Corp.: Texas Pacific Land is a land-owner in Texas that generates revenue from land sales, oil and gas royalties, grazing leases, and other ventures. The company owns roughly 880,000 acres of land in Texas as well as various royalty interests for oil and gas development.
  • ConocoPhillips: ConocoPhillips is an energy exploration and production company focused on oil and natural gas. It operates in 13 countries and employs roughly 9,400.

Stock Investing Advantages

Momentum: To become a top stock, a company most likely sees positive trends in its earnings, revenue, and share price. Momentum in these areas indicates a well-run business that has the potential to keep generating a profit and create shareholder value. Investors can use free stock screening sites like Finviz to find top stocks, filtering by both fundamental and technical momentum. For example, a trader could find a top stock by scanning for companies that are trading at a new 52-week high or have grown their earnings consistently over the past five years.

Liquidity: Top stocks typically receive extensive media coverage and are followed by leading Wall Street analysts. This usually means more liquidity in the order book, leading to better prices and faster trade executions. Moreover, top stocks with ample liquidity are more difficult for larger players to manipulate, helping to keep a fair and orderly market.

Stock Investing Risks

Missed Opportunities: Investing only in top stocks means that investors may miss profitable opportunities in other areas of the stock market. Some of the most significant gains come from small-cap stocks under the radar. For example, an unknown small biotechnology company may announce a breakthrough discovery that propels its share price sharply higher. Even if investors favor trading top stocks, allocating a portion of capital to other stock groups helps avoid missing exciting opportunities.

Trend Reversals: The trend is your friend—until it's not. Even top stocks with a track record of earnings growth and creating shareholder value encounter unforeseen challenges. For example, cruise line companies, such as Carnival Corporation & plc (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), reported increased revenue in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic but saw their top line sink to unprecedented levels for several years due to no-sail orders and a collapse in passenger demand. When investing in top stocks, investors should always use a stop-loss order to protect against sudden trend reversals.

The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or adopt any investment strategy. Though we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described in our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

Article Sources
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