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Zacks.com featured highlights: Monarch Casino & Resort, EnerSys, Ingredion, Papa John's International and Nutrisystem

MCRI ENS INGR PZZA NTRI

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 16, 2016 - Stocks in this week’s article include Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. (NASDAQ:(MCRI - Free Report) –Free Report),EnerSys (NYSE:(ENS - Free Report) –Free Report),Ingredion Inc. (NYSE:(INGR - Free Report) –Free Report),Papa John's International Inc. (NASDAQ:(PZZA - Free Report) –Free Report) and Nutrisystem, Inc. (NASDAQ:(NTRI - Free Report) – Free Report).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

Stocks with Exciting Interest Coverage Ratios to Buy Now

A layman can easily dupe himself if he decides to pick a stock only on the basis of shooting numbers in a real-time stock screen. A critical analysis of the company’s financial background is essential for a better investment decision.

Often investors evaluate a company’s performance by simply looking at its sales and earnings, which sometimes do not reveal the real picture. To be more precise, they do not tell whether a company’s fundamentals are sound enough to meet its financial obligations. Here the role of coverage ratios comes in to play — the higher these are the more efficient an enterprise will be in meeting its financial obligations.

Why Interest Coverage Ratio?

Interest Coverage Ratio is used to determine how effectively a company can pay the interest charges on its debt.

Debt, which is very important for financing operations for a majority of companies, comes at a cost called interest. Interest expense has a direct bearing on the profitability of a company. And the company’s creditworthiness depends on how effectively it meets its interest obligations. Therefore, Interest Coverage Ratio is one of the important criteria to factor in before making any investment decision.

Interest Coverage Ratio = Earnings before Interest & Taxes (EBIT) divided by Interest Expense .

The Interest Coverage Ratio suggests how many times the interest could be paid from earnings and gauges the margin of safety a firm has for paying interest.

An interest coverage ratio lower than one implies that the company is unable to fulfill its interest obligations, and could default in repaying debt. A company that is capable of generating earnings well above its interest expense can withstand financial hardships. Definitely one should also track the company’s past performance to determine whether the interest coverage ratio has improved or worsened over a period of time.

The Winning Strategy

Apart from having an Interest Coverage Ratio that is more than the industry average, adding a favorable Zacks Rank and a VGM Score of “A” or “B” to your search criteria should lead to better results.

Interest Coverage Ratio greater than X-Industry Median

Price greater than or equal to 5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.

5-Year Historical EPS Growth (%) greater than X-Industry Median: Stocks that have a strong EPS growth history.

Projected EPS Growth (%) greater than X-Industry Median: This is the projected EPS growth over the next three to five years. This shows that the stock has near-term earnings growth potential.

Average 20-Day Volume greater than 100,000: A substantial trading volume ensures that the stock is easily tradable.

Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform irrespective of the market environment.

VGM Score of less than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of ‘A’ or ‘B’ when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.

Here are five of the 18 stocks that qualified the screening:

Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. (NASDAQ:(MCRI - Free Report) – Free Report) , which owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a hotel/casino facility in Reno, Nevada; and the Monarch Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, CO, has a VGM score of “B” with an expected EPS growth rate of 14% for 3–5 years. The stock currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

EnerSys (NYSE:(ENS - Free Report) – Free Report) , the manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of industrial batteries, has a VGM score of “A” with an expected EPS growth rate for 3–5 years of 13%. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Ingredion Inc. (NYSE:(INGR - Free Report) – Free Report) , a manufacturer and seller of starches and sweeteners to various industries, has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM score of “A.” The expected EPS growth rate for 3–5 years is currently 11%.

Papa John's International Inc. (NASDAQ:(PZZA - Free Report) – Free Report) , which operates and franchises pizza delivery and carryout restaurants under the Papa John’s trademark, has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM score of “B.” The expected EPS growth rate for 3–5 years is 15.5%.

Nutrisystem, Inc. (NASDAQ:(NTRI - Free Report) – Free Report) , the provider of weight management products and services for women and men, has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM score of “A.” Currently, the expected EPS growth rate for 3–5 years is 17.5%.

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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 .

Zacks Restaurant Recommendations: In addition to dining at these special places, you can feast on their stock shares. A Zacks Special Report spotlights 5 recent IPOs to watch plus 2 stocks that offer immediate promise in a booming sector. Download it free »

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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.

About Screen of the Week

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Zacks Restaurant Recommendations: In addition to dining at these special places, you can feast on their stock shares. A Zacks Special Report spotlights 5 recent IPOs to watch plus 2 stocks that offer immediate promise in a booming sector. Download it free »