Third-quarter earnings are driving Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH) higher on Tuesday, and the move is setting the stage for a bullish technical trade in November.
The Warsaw, Ind., medical-device company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.77, besting the $1.75 analysts were looking for, and affirmed its 2019 guidance. That result is being met with a bullish response: At last check the stock was trading up 3.6% at $141.50.
Zimmer Biomet hasn't been a stranger to upside in 2019. The shares are up more than 36% on a total-return basis since the calendar flipped to January, leaving the S&P 500's otherwise stout nearly 25% year-to-date rally in the dust.
But this $29 billion orthopedics-focused medical-device maker could be primed for yet more upside, thanks to today's earnings reaction.
To figure out why -- and how to trade it from here -- we're turning to the charts.
While Zimmer Biomet's spent pretty much all of 2019 pointing up and to the right, the pace of the push higher has cooled lately.
Shared gapped more than 8% higher back in late July on the heels of Q2 earnings, and more or less churned sideways in the intervening months while the rest of the market played catch-up with Zimmer's beginning-of-the-year performance.
The good news is that Zimmer Biomet is in a dramatically different technical position on the heels of the Q3 numbers.
Critically, ZBH has managed to hold on to its long-term up trend throughout the sideways consolidation. That's left the shares hugging trendline support leading into earnings.
Now, with a bullish reaction in the books, the shares have considerable room to run higher. Contrast that with earnings a quarter ago, when Zimmer Biomet more or less gapped to the top of its price channel out of the gate, leaving little room for momentum to continue to play out.
With all-time highs easily within grabbing distance for ZBH, expect that high-water mark to get retested in the near term.
As always, risk management remains important. If Zimmer Biomet violates prior lows around $130, then trendline support has been materially broken and you don't want to hold the shares anymore.
Until and unless that happens, Zimmer Biomet has room to run to the upside in the final stretch of 2019.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.