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Discard These 4 Toxic Stocks to Prevent Painful Losses

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Investors who can appropriately distinguish between overblown/inflated toxic stocks and the fairly priced stocks see success at the end. But, telling one from the other in such cases is no mean feat. Hence, one should know how to identify toxic stocks and get rid of those at the right time.

Usually, overpriced toxic stocks are vulnerable to external shocks and are burdened with huge debt levels. The price of toxic stocks is unreasonably high. The artificially high price of the toxic stocks is only temporary as the intrinsic value of the same is lower than the current bloated price.

The unrealistically high price of toxic stocks can be due to either an irrational exuberance associated with them or some fundamental drawbacks. Owning such stocks for a long period of time can be detrimental to investors and may result in huge erosion of wealth.

Nonetheless, investors may profit from the precise identification of toxic stocks with the help of an investing strategy known as short selling. This strategy allows them to sell a stock first and then buy it when the price falls. While short selling excels in bear markets, it typically loses money in bull markets.

So, identifying toxic stocks and getting rid of them at the right time is the key to guard your portfolio from big losses. Profits can be made by short selling them.

Screening Criteria

Here is a winning strategy that will help you to identify overpriced toxic stocks:

Most recent Debt/Equity Ratio greater than the median industry average: High debt/equity ratio implies high leverage. High leverage indicates a huge level of repayment that the company has to make in connection with the debt amount.

P/E using 12-month forward EPS estimate greater than 50: A very high forward P/E implies that a stock is highly overvalued.

% Change in F (1) and F (2) Estimate (12 Weeks) less than -5: Negative EPS estimate revision for this fiscal year and the next during the past 12 weeks points to analysts’ pessimism.

Zacks Rank more than or equal to #3 (Hold): We have not considered Buy-rated stocks that generally outperform the market. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Here are four of the 26 toxic stocks that showed up on the screen:

Casa Systems (CASA - Free Report) : Headquartered in Andover, Casa Systems develops and provides digital cable video and broadband services. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings per share has been revised downward by 18 cents over the past seven days and implies a 57.1% drop on a year-over-year basis. The company carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and has a VGM Score of D.

Stoneridge, Inc. (SRI - Free Report) : Michigan-based Stoneridge designs and manufactures engineered electrical and electronic components, modules as well as systems. Over the past seven days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 loss per share has widened from 37 cents to 62 cents. The bottom-line projection implies a year-over year deterioration of 1,966.7%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 and has a VGM Score of F.

Shake Shack, Inc. (SHAK - Free Report) : This New York-based fast food hamburger restaurant chain currently carries a Zacks Rank #5. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 loss per share has been widened by a penny over the past seven days. The company displays a VGM Score of D.

SendasDistribuidora (ASAI - Free Report) : This Brazil-based company is engaged in the retail and wholesale of food as well as other products through its stores. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for sales for the current year implies a year-over-year decline of 78.6%. The consensus mark of 2021 earnings per share has been revised downward by a penny over the past 30 days. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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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