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4 Top-Ranked Liquid Stocks to Boost Portfolio Returns in 2022

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Creating a portfolio that includes stocks with healthy liquidity levels is likely to favor investors seeking robust returns.

Liquidity measures a company’s capability to meet short-term debt obligations. Stocks with high liquidity levels have always been in demand, owing to their potential to provide maximum returns.

One needs to exercise caution before investing in such stocks. High liquidity may indicate that the company is clearing its dues faster than its peers. However, it may also suggest that the company cannot deploy its assets competently.

Hence, an investor may consider a company’s efficiency level in addition to its liquidity for identifying potential winners.

Measures to Identify Liquid Stocks

Current Ratio: It measures current assets relative to current liabilities. The ratio gauges a company’s potential to meet short- and long-term debt obligations. A current ratio — also known as the working capital ratio — below 1 indicates that the company has more liabilities than assets. However, a high current ratio does not always suggest that the company is in good financial shape. It may also suggest that the firm failed to utilize its assets significantly. Hence, a range of 1-3 is considered ideal.

Quick Ratio: Unlike the current ratio, the quick ratio — also called the “acid-test ratio" or the "quick assets ratio" — reflects a company’s ability to pay short-term obligations. It considers inventory excluding the current assets relative to current liabilities. Like the current ratio, a quick ratio of more than 1 is desirable.

Cash Ratio: This is the most conservative ratio among the three, considering cash and cash equivalents and invested funds relative to current liabilities. It measures a company’s ability to meet current debt obligations using the most liquid assets. Though a cash ratio of more than 1 may suggest sound financials, a higher number may indicate inefficiency in cash utilization.

A ratio greater than 1 is always desirable but may not always represent a company’s financial condition.

Screening Parameters

To pick the best of the lot, we have added asset utilization — a widely-used measure of a company’s efficiency — as one of the screening criteria. Asset utilization is the ratio of total sales in the past 12 months to the last four-quarter average of total assets. Though this ratio varies across industries, companies with a ratio higher than their respective industries can be considered efficient.

To ensure that these liquid and efficient stocks have solid growth potential, we have added our proprietary Growth Style Score to the screen.

Current Ratio, Quick Ratio and Cash Ratio between 1 and 3 (While liquidity ratios greater than 1 are desirable, significantly high ratios may indicate inefficiency.)

Asset utilization greater than the industry average (Higher asset utilization than the industry average indicates a company’s efficiency.)

Zacks Rank equal to #1 (Only Strong Buy-rated stocks can get through). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Growth Score less than or equal to B (Back-tested results show that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 handily beat other stocks.)

These criteria have narrowed the universe of more than 7,700 stocks to only 12.

Here are four of the 12 stocks that qualified for the screen:

North Billerica, MA-based Lantheus Holdings (LNTH - Free Report) is involved in developing, manufacturing, selling and distributing diagnostic medical imaging agents and products for diagnosing cardiovascular and other diseases. It serves hospitals, clinics, group practices, integrated delivery networks, group purchasing organizations, radio pharmacies and wholesalers. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings moved up 1.3% to $3.08 per share in the past 60 days. Lantheus has a Growth Score of A and a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 77.8%, on average.

Troy, MI-based Skyline Champion Corporation (SKY - Free Report) designs, produces and distributes manufactured housing and recreational vehicles. The company has 42 manufacturing facilities across the United States and western Canada. The company also boasts a factory-direct retail business —Titan Factory Direct — and has 30 retail locations, mainly in the southern United States. It also has a transportation business —  Star Fleet Trucking. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2023 earnings is pegged at $5.10 per share, up 6% in the past 60 days. Skyline has a Growth Score of A and a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 45.3%, on average.

Lisle, IL-based CTS Corporation (CTS - Free Report) manufactures sensors, actuators and electronic components and supplies these products to OEMs in the aerospace, communications, defense, industrial, information technology, medical and transportation markets. The company is expected to keep gaining from continued momentum across end markets. Disciplined capital allocation and strategic acquisitions bode well. The TEWA Temperature Sensors acquisition has bolstered CTS’ presence in Europe. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings is pegged at $2.40 per share, up 11.6% in the past 60 days. CTS has a Growth Score of A.

Based in Katy, TX, U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA - Free Report) makes and markets commercial silica, a specialized mineral, to various attractive end markets in the United States. To serve a wide gamut of end markets, U.S. Silica makes and distributes a range of commercial silica products, including whole grain and ground products and other industrial mineral products that complement its commercial silica products. Oil and gas proppants is the company’s biggest end market. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2022 earnings is pegged at 80 cents per share, up 5.3% in the past 60 days. The company has a Growth Score of B and a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 41.8%, on average.

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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.

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