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Zacks.com highlights: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Lululemon Athletica, Sanderson Farms and Farmers & Merchants Bancorp

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – Oct 23, 2017 - Stocks in this week’s article include: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc., Sanderson Farms, Inc. and Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc.

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

4 of the Most Efficient Stocks to Buy Now

Companies with favorable efficiency levels are likely to be on investors’ radar irrespective of market conditions. This is because a company with a favorable efficiency level is expected to provide impressive returns as it is believed to be positively correlated with its price performance.

Efficiency, which is the ability to transform inputs into outputs, is a potential indicator of a company’s financial health.

Key Ratios to Identify Efficiency

Sometimes it becomes difficult to measure the efficiency level of a company. This is the reason why one must consider popular efficiency ratios while selecting stocks. These efficiency ratios are:

Inventory Turnover: The ratio of 12-month cost of goods sold (COGS) to a four-quarter average inventory is considered one of the most popular efficiency ratios. It indicates a company’s ability to maintain a suitable inventory position. While a high value indicates that the company has a relatively low level of inventory compared to COGS, a low value indicates that the company is facing declining sales, which resulted in excess inventory.

Receivables Turnover:  This is the ratio of 12-month sales to four-quarter average receivables. It shows a company’s potential to extend its credit and collect debt in terms of that credit. A high receivables turnover ratio or the “accounts receivable turnover ratio” or “debtor’s turnover ratio” is desirable as it shows that the company is capable of collecting its accounts receivables or that it has quality customers.

Asset Utilization: This ratio indicates a company’s capability to convert assets into output and is thus a widely known measure of efficiency level. It is calculated by dividing total sales over the past 12 months by the last four-quarter average of total assets. Like the above ratios, high asset utilization may indicate that a company is efficient.

Operating Margin: This efficiency measure is the ratio of operating income over the past 12 months to sales over the same period. It measures a company’s ability to control operating expenses. Hence, a high value of the ratio may indicate that the company manages its operating expenses more efficiently than its peers.

Screening Parameters

In addition to the above-mentioned ratios, we have added a favorable Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) to the screen with an objective to make this strategy more profitable. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Inventory Turnover, Receivables Turnover, Asset Utilization and Operating Margin greater than industry average

(Values of these ratios higher than industry averages may indicate that the efficiency level of the company is higher than its peers.)

The use of these few criteria narrowed down the universe of over 7,906 stocks to only 19.

Here are four stocks from the 19 that made it through the screen:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medicines for serious diseases. This company has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 17.9%.

Lululemon Athletica Inc.is a designer, distributor and retailer of athletic apparel. The company operates through two segments: Company-operated stores and Direct to consumer. It has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 8.5%.

Sanderson Farms, Inc.is an integrated poultry processing company, produces, processes, markets, and distributes fresh, frozen, and prepared chicken products in the United States. The company has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 14%.

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc.operates as a bank holding company for The Farmers & Merchants State Bank that provides commercial banking, retail banking, and other financial services to individuals and small businesses in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana. The company has an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 4.9%.

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And that's what we're screening for today…

For the rest of this Screen of the Week article please visit Zacks.com at: https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/279505/4-of-the-most-efficient-stocks-to-buy-now

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

Zacks.com created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine.  But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has more than doubled the market from 1988 through 2016. Its average gain has been a stellar +25% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Contact: Jim Giaquinto

Company: Zacks.com

Phone: 312-265-9268

Email: pr@zacks.com

Visit: https://www.zacks.com/

Zacks.com provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. www.zacks.com/disclaimer.

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.




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