Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Mid-America Apartment Communities

(

MAA

) as a "barbarian at the gate" (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today's range greater than 200%) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Mid-America Apartment Communities as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MAA has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $34.7 million.
  • MAA has traded 121,898 shares today.
  • MAA traded in a range 203.8% of the normal price range with a price range of $2.24.
  • MAA traded above its daily resistance level (quality: 128 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 128 calendar days. The resistance price is defined by the Price - $0.01 at the time of the signal).

Stocks matching the 'Barbarian at the Gate' criteria are worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and volatility. Trade-Ideas targets these opportunities because the stock is exhibiting an unusual behavior while displaying positive price action. In this case, the stock crossed an important inflection point; namely, 'resistance' while at the same time the range of the stock's movement in price is more than twice its normal size. This large range foreshadows a possible continuation as the stock moves higher.

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More details on MAA:

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4%. MAA has a PE ratio of 3. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Mid-America Apartment Communities a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Mid-America Apartment Communities has been 458,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-America Apartment has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. The stock has a beta of 0.09 and a short float of 1.5% with 2.03 days to cover. Shares are up 2.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Mid-America Apartment Communities as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.88 versus $0.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.55 versus $1.88).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 312.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $14.86 million to $61.27 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that MAA's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

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