The S&P 500 is hovering around the record level. But central banks’ moves, geo-political concerns and trade war tensions are always there to cause a sudden slowdown. This makes it important for investors to know the route to reach quality stocks.
The metric return on equity goes a long way in resolving this issue. The metric leads investors to differentiate between a profit-churner and a profit-burner. It is a profitability ratio that measures earnings that a company generates from its equity.
But one can tweak this basic concept and land on a more refining theory of DuPont analysis. This idea will take investors a step higher and better pick some quality stocks.
Here is how DuPont breaks down ROE into its different components:
ROE = Net Income/Equity
Net Income / Equity = (Net Income / Sales) * (Sales / Assets) * (Assets / Equity)
ROE = Profit Margin * Asset Turnover Ratio * Equity Multiplier
Why Use DuPont?
Although one can’t play down the importance of normal ROE calculation, the fact remains that it doesn’t always provide a complete picture. The DuPont analysis, on the other hand, allows investors to assess the elements that play a dominant role in any change in ROE. It can help investors to segregate companies having higher margins from those having high turnover. For example, high-end fashion brands generally survive on high margin as compared with retail goods, which rely on higher turnover.
In fact, it also sheds light on the company’s leverage status, which can go a long way in selecting stocks poised for gains. A lofty ROE could be due to the overuse of debt. Thus, the strength of a company can be misleading if it has a high debt load.
So, an investor confined solely to a ROE perspective may be confused if he or she has to judge between two stocks of equal ratio. This is where DuPont analysis wins over and spots the better stock.
Investors can simply do this analysis by taking a look at the company’s financials. However, looking at financial statements of each company separately can be a tedious task. Screening tools like Zacks Research Wizard can come to your rescue and help you shortlist the stocks that look impressive with a DuPont analysis.
• Profit Margin more than or equal to 3: As the name suggests, it is a measure of how profitably the business is running. Generally, it is the key contributor to ROE.
• Asset Turnover Ratio more than or equal to 2: It allows an investor to assess management’s efficiency in using assets to drive sales.
• Equity Multiplier between 1 and 3: It’s an indication of how much debt the company uses to finance its assets.
• Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Stocks having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) generally perform better than their peers in all types of market environment.
• Current Price more than $5: This screens out the low-priced stocks. However, when looking for stocks priced lower, this criterion can be removed.
Here are five of 23 stocks that made it through the screen:
Marine Products Corporation (MPX - Free Report) : The company is the third-largest distributor of sterndrive powerboats in the United States and has a placement in a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 37%). It sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO - Free Report) : This Zacks Rank #2 company is the leading global specialty retailer. It belongs to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 39%).
Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. (SCHN - Free Report) : The Zacks Rank #1 company processes and recycles metals by operating one of the largest metals recycling businesses in the United States. It boasts belonging to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 25%).
Comfort Systems USA Inc. (FIX - Free Report) : This is a national provider of comprehensive heating, ventilation and air conditioning installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1. It is placed in a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 16%).
Phillips 66 (PSX - Free Report) : It is a downstream energy company. It has a Zacks Rank #2 and belongs to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 14%).
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.
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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.
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