"Stocks rallying to new 52-week highs in the current market environment are few and far between, to say the least," suggests techician and contrarian Elizabeth Harrow.
The analyst with Schaeffer's Investment Research adds, "One such firm is high-flying Almost Family (NASDAQ: AFAM), which recently appeared on my filter for 'Undiscovered Gem'." Here is her review.
"Almost Family is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and the company has been around since 1985, providing home health care services in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.
"On November 5, Almost Family reported a third-quarter profit of 56 cents per share on net service revenues of $58.7 million. The results absolutely crushed analysts' predictions for a profit of 44 cents per share on revenue of $49.72 million.
"Thanks in part to its earnings-related boost, AFAM has outperformed the S&P 500 by 45 percentage points during the past 20 days. In fact, the stock has put the rest of the equities market to shame; it's up 156% year-to-date.
"Since May, AFAM has enjoyed technical support from its 10-week and 20-week moving averages. More recently, the equity pushed through resistance from the 46 level. Now, this area could switch roles to provide an additional backstop for the uptrending equity.
"Despite its blockbuster technical performance, most Wall Street denizens haven't taken notice. Option players are more or less ignoring this stock -- although its propensity for fast, aggressive moves makes it perfectly suited for the speculative crowd.
"In fact, the heavy amount of short interest on AFAM could contribute to more impressive gains in the short term.
"Short interest swelled by 62% during the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for nearly 11% of the equity's total available float. If these bears are spooked into buying back their bets on the stock's decline, it should translate to a fresh boost of buying pressure.
"The shares could also benefit from new analyst attention. According to Zacks, just 4 brokerage firms have offered up an opinion on AFAM, with all of them unanimously crowded in the 'strong buy; camp.
"If additional analysts step up to state their own opinion on the shares, it could help Almost Family attract some of the attention it so richly deserves."