Bargain hunting or chasing stocks with a low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is among the widely-used investing strategies. Investors believe that the lower the P/E, the higher will be the value of the stock.The logic is simple — a stock’s current market price does not justify its higher earnings and therefore leaves room for upside.
But there is more to this whole P/E story. Because not only low P/E, stocks with a rising P/E can also fetch strong returns. In this regard, investors can bet on the likes of Live Nation Entertainment (
LYV Quick Quote LYV - Free Report) , Fastenal ( FAST Quick Quote FAST - Free Report) , BigCommerce ( BIGC Quick Quote BIGC - Free Report) , Telefonica Brasil ( VIV Quick Quote VIV - Free Report) and Renesola ( SOL Quick Quote SOL - Free Report) . Rising P/E: An Useful Tool
The concept is that as earnings rise, so should the price of the stock. As forecasts for expected earnings come in higher, strong demand for the stock should continue to push up its prices. After all, astock's P/E gives an indication of how much investors are ready to shell out per dollar of earnings.
Suppose an investor wants to buy a stock with a P/E ratio of 30. This means that he is willing to shell out $30 for only $1 worth of earnings as he expects the earnings of the company to rise at a faster pace in the future, owing to strong fundamentals.
So, if the P/E of a stock is rising steadily, it means that investors are assured of its inherent strength and expect some strong positives out of it.
Also, studies have revealed that stocks have seen their P/E ratios jump over 100% from their breakout point in the cycle. So, if you can pick stocks early in their breakout cycle, you can end up seeing considerable gains.
The Winning Strategy
In order to shortlist stocks that are exhibiting an increasing P/E, we chose the following as our primary screening parameters.
EPS growth estimate for the current year is greater than or equal to last year’s actual growth Percentage change in last year EPS should be greater than or equal zero
(These two criteria point to flat earnings or a growth trend over the years.)
Percentage change in price over four weeks greater than the percentage change in price over 12 weeks Percentage change in price over 12 weeks greater than percentage change in price over 24 weeks
(These two criteria show that price of the stock is increasing consistently over the said timeframes.)
Percentage price change for four weeks relative to the S&P 500 greater than the percentage price change for 12 weeks relative to the S&P 500 Percentage price change for 12 weeks relative to the S&P 500 greater than the percentage price change for 24 weeks relative to the S&P 500
(Here, the case for consistent price gains gets even stronger as it displays percentage price changes relative to the S&P 500.)
Percentage price change for 12 weeks is 20% higher than or equal to the percentage price change for 24 weeks, but it should not exceed 100%
(A 20% increase in the price of a stock from the breakout point gives cues of an impending uptrend. But a jump of over 100% indicates that there is limited scope for further upside and that the stock might be due for a reversal.)
In addition, we place a few other criteria that lead us to some likely outperformers.
Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Only companies with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) can get through. Average 20-day Volume greater than or equal to 50,000: High trading volume implies that the stocks have adequate liquidity.
Just these few criteria narrowed down the universe from over 7,700 stocks to just 46.
Here are five out of the 46 stocks:
Live Nation Entertainment (The Zacks Rank #2 companyprovides live entertainment. It operates through Concerts, Ticketing, and Sponsorship and Advertising segments. You can see LYV Quick Quote LYV - Free Report) : . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here
The average earnings surprise of LYV for the past four quarters is 9.72%.
Fastenal (Fastenal Company is a national wholesale distributor of industrial and construction supplies. The company distributes its products through more than 3,200 company-owned stores mostly located in North America. FAST has a Zacks Rank #2. FAST Quick Quote FAST - Free Report) :
The average earnings surprise of FAST for the past four quarters is 3.34%.
BigCommerce (This Zacks Rank #2 company provides software-as-a-service ecommerce platform. BIGC Quick Quote BIGC - Free Report) :
The average earnings surprise of BIGC of the past four quarters is 4.66%.
Telefonica Brasil ( Telefonica Brasil SA is engaged in providing communication, information and entertainment solutions in the telecommunication sector, in the State of Sao Paulo. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. VIV Quick Quote VIV - Free Report) :
The average earnings surprise of VIV for the past four quarters is 27.71%.
Renesola (The Zacks Rank #2 companyis into the production and sale of solar wafers. Starting 2012, the company expanded its operations into global energy-efficient products and services business and downstream solar power projects in overseas markets. SOL Quick Quote SOL - Free Report) :
The average earnings surprise of SOL for the past four quarters is 70.84%.
You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.
The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.
. Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today 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