The chart below was created by taking the 300 FTSE 350 companies that have seven or more year’s historic price data and then using regression analysis to calculate the slope of the regression line and the R-squared for each of the 300 companies’ year end share prices for the last ten years. These 300 pairs of figures (i.e. a gradient figure and R2 for each company) were then plotted on a scatter chart (below).

The above chart is interesting. A line of best fit has been drawn which has a positive slope, which indicates that shares with higher returns tend to also have higher R-squareds (i.e. lower volatility around the trend line).

This is a Good Thing – this is what investors want: shares with high returns and low volatility.

Shares are therefore attractive in the top-right quadrant of the chart above (i.e. shares with positive returns and R^{2} over 0.5). An example would be Rotork (circled in the chart) with a slope gradient of 2.82 and R^{2 } of 0.91 for its year end share prices since 2004..

To identify shares in the top-right quadrant we can calculate the multiple of the slope gradient and R^{2 } and rank shares in descending order by this value.

The following table shows the top 20 shares in the FTSE 350 Index as ranked by this multiple of slope gradient and R^{2. }This is, in effect, a ranking of the highest-return/lowest-volatility shares for the past ten years, and as such they might be regarded as the best trending shares over that period.

**Company** |
**TIDM** |
**Slope** |
**R2** |
**Slope x R2** |

Personal Assets Trust |
PNL |
13.05 |
0.83 |
10.84 |

Randgold Resources Ltd |
RRS |
6.26 |
0.73 |
4.55 |

Spirax-Sarco Engineering |
SPX |
3.46 |
0.86 |
2.96 |

Reckitt Benckiser Group |
RB. |
3.00 |
0.90 |
2.70 |

SABMiller |
SAB |
2.89 |
0.93 |
2.67 |

Rotork |
ROR |
2.82 |
0.91 |
2.56 |

Spectris |
SXS |
3.29 |
0.77 |
2.54 |

British American Tobacco |
BATS |
2.65 |
0.96 |
2.54 |

Intertek Group |
ITRK |
2.89 |
0.84 |
2.43 |

Croda International |
CRDA |
2.55 |
0.87 |
2.22 |

Rightmove |
RMV |
2.95 |
0.75 |
2.20 |

Next |
NXT |
3.40 |
0.62 |
2.11 |

Shire |
SHP |
2.41 |
0.86 |
2.07 |

Aveva Group |
AVV |
2.25 |
0.88 |
1.98 |

Aggreko |
AGK |
2.14 |
0.87 |
1.85 |

Weir Group |
WEIR |
2.28 |
0.81 |
1.84 |

Whitbread |
WTB |
2.26 |
0.62 |
1.40 |

Unilever |
ULVR |
1.46 |
0.93 |
1.35 |

Petrofac Ltd |
PFC |
1.76 |
0.75 |
1.31 |

Hargreaves Lansdown |
HL. |
1.68 |
0.77 |
1.28 |