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Find Strong Stocks During Earnings Season with this First Profit Screener

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Stocks fell Tuesday, after starting the week off strong. The downturn comes as we hit the heart of second quarter earnings season, with reports due out later this week from FAANG giants such as Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and economic bellwethers like Caterpillar (CAT - Free Report) and hundreds of others.

The second quarter reports will hopefully provide Wall Street with a better understanding of what’s to come in the second half of 2020 amid all of the coronavirus uncertainty. It’s worth pointing out that there have been early signs of an improving earnings outlook for the third quarter and beyond (also read: The Technology Sector Shows its Earnings Power Amid Coronavirus).

Earnings season, as always, will act as a market catalyst. Therefore, investors might want to hunt for stocks that could benefit from a possible strong showing. On that note, we used our ‘First Profit’ stock screener to help find stocks that could be worth considering during second quarter earnings season...

First Profit

The idea is to search for companies that recently reported their first quarterly profit. More specifically, the screen searches for firms that just posted their first profit last quarter, after not posting a profit for at least the previous four quarters.

Finding companies that recently reported their first profits help investors find stocks that can prove to be big winners. These companies may vary widely. Some of the firms might be new, and this recent profit is perhaps the only profit in its short history.

Meanwhile, other companies might have held an impressive and long history of quarterly profitability, but for whatever reason haven't seen a profit in a while. Therefore, the return to profit could spark a turning point that management had promised or Wall Street had been clamoring for.

The concept is relatively simple: if the trend has been one of improvement, there is a solid chance the trend will continue. This is true whether a company has been profitable, or is just reaching that key inflection point.

And that’s what we are screening for today…

• EPS for the previous 4 Quarters less than or equal to 0

(This means in each of the previous 4 quarters (except the most recently reported quarter) the company has reported earnings of less than or equal to zero, i.e., no profit.)

• EPS for the recently reported quarter greater than 0

(This time, the company reported earnings greater than zero, meaning they finally showed a profit.)

• Current Price greater than or equal to 5

(Stocks that are trading for less than $5 are more speculative.)

The screen is pretty simple, yet powerful. Here are 5 of the nearly 30 stocks that made it through this week's screen…

Aphria Inc. (APHA - Free Report)

SunOpta Inc. (STKL - Free Report)

GCI Liberty, Inc. (GLIBA - Free Report)

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (MTSI - Free Report)

Green Plains Inc. (GPRE - Free Report)

Get the rest of the stocks on this list and start looking for the newest companies that fit these criteria. It's easy to do. And it could help you find your next big winner. Start screening for these companies today with a free trial to the Research Wizard. You can do it.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance/.

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