5 Niche Leaders Dodging Market Woes To Hit New Highs BITA ATHM ODFL

With the market in correction, it’s a good time to look for highly rated stock-watch candidates. Companies showing strong stock action relative to the general market are good prospects.

Today’s Screen Of The Day is Bolting RS Lines, companies whose stock relative strength is rising vs. the SP 500 index.

The list includes five companies with strongly defensible niches and strong fundamentals.

 View Enlarged Image

BitAuto (NYSE:BITA) is one of the first websites in China to provide consumers and businesses with auto pricing, specifications, reviews and services that U.S. counterparts such as AutoTrader and Cars.com provide. It’s sure to get competition as China’s auto market, already the world’s largest, continues to grow.

Shares of BitAuto shot up 9.9% to 68.99 on the stock market Monday, hitting a fresh record high as second-quarter earnings crushed estimates on strong ad sales as the site gains brand recognition.

BitAuto earnings jumped 96% to 45 cents a share ex items, vs. estimates for 39 cents. Revenue growth also topped forecasts.

(Autohome (NYSE:ATHM), a similar company, climbed 2.8% Monday.)

BitAuto is also No. 1 on the IBD 50 list of top-rated stocks.

Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ:ODFL) provides trucking services and specializes in less-than-truckload loads.

Most trucking companies prefer to have their trucks roll with a full load, so Old Dominion can charge premium prices to provide the niche service. It’s the top-rated firm in IBD’s 19-company Transportation-Truck group. It carries a best possible 99 IBD Composite Rating; in other words, it’s outperformed 99% of all stocks on key metrics such as sales and profit growth. Shares rose 0.8% on Monday.

U.S. Silica Holdings (NYSE:SLCA) produces a specialized, highly refined sand that’s mixed with water and chemicals in hydraulic fracturing, the process used to free oil and natural gas trapped in shale rock. As the new U.S. energy boom rolls out, sales and profits are rising.

U.S. Silica is up 149% since Jan. 31 and closed at 60.53, up 2.9%.

(Emerge Energy Services (NYSE:EMES), another frac-sand producer, is also on the Bolting RS Line screen but doesn’t quite make the list’s top 5. Emerge Energy advanced 1.9% on Monday, near a record high.)

Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) is a Chinese online discounter that boasts a 99 Composite Rating. Earnings are due out Wednesday. Consensus is for $791.6 million revenue, vs. $351.3 million a year ago, and 64 cents EPS, up from 20 cents.

Vipshop shares rose 4.4% on Monday to 216.49, a fresh closing high.

TAL Education Group (NYSE:XRS), another Chinese firm, rounds out the list. For-profit educator TAL specializes in after-school tutoring for K-12 students. Its EPS growth was 69% last quarter. Shares climbed 1.5% to a fresh high Monday.

Follow James DeTar on Twitter: @IBD_JDeTar.