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5 Financial Data Stocks That Could Surge in 2012

Stocks in this article: MCO MSCI MORN RATE TRI

Thomson Reuters

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Financial data firm Thomson Reuters (TRI) has room for improvement in 2012. That's because the firm is coming off the heels of a 28% decline in 2011, a year when the broad market effectively closed the year flat as a board. Now management has something to prove in the year ahead.

While Thomson Reuters may be best known for its news service, the firm's most significant business is actually its markets data platform, which licenses data to financial professional through pricey terminals. Competition is fierce in the terminal business, with very sticky customers and rivals like Bloomberg laying claim to a significant mindshare of the market. Because investment professionals essentially commit to learning the proprietary commands of a system, they're less inclined to change once they've picked one. Still, Thomson Reuters has a slight edge in this industry for now; the company will need to continue to evolve its offerings if it wants to keep it.

The company also has a significant non-investment business, providing legal, scientific, and healthcare data to professionals in those respective fields. For all intents and purposes, investors should assume that this business has the exact same upside and challenges as the markets division. With blood in the water after a major downtrend last year, TRI currently has a short ratio of 9.6 tomorrow's earnings call may be the big catalyst this firm needs to spur a short squeeze.

To see this week's short squeezes in action, check out the Financial Data Short Squeeze portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.
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