The equity market has witnessed a steady rise driven by the last-minute “Phase One” trade deal between the United States and China. The trade truce between the world's two largest economies buoyed investor sentiments and propelled leading benchmark indices to record highs. The market even shrugged off President Trump’s impeachment news and continued its uptrend as economic strength and not political news took center stage. With the probable signing of the formal trade agreement in early January, the equity market appears primed for a rocking start to the new year.
As investors employ a wait-and-see approach in a classic example of “backing and filling” in the market, they can benefit from ‘cash cow’ stocks that garner higher returns.
However, singling out cash-rich stocks alone do not make for a solid investment proposition unless these are backed by attractive efficiency ratios, like return on equity (ROE). A high ROE ensures that the company is reinvesting its cash at a high rate of return.
ROE = Net Income/Shareholders’ Equity
ROE helps investors distinguish profit-generating companies from profit burners and is useful in determining the financial health of a company. In other words, this financial metric enables investors to identify stocks that diligently deploy cash for higher returns.
Moreover, ROE is often used to compare the profitability of a company with other firms in the industry — the higher, the better. It measures how well a company is multiplying its profits without investing new equity capital and portrays management’s efficiency in rewarding shareholders with attractive risk-adjusted returns.
In order to shortlist stocks that are cash rich with high ROE, we have added Cash Flow greater than $1 billion and ROE greater than X-Industry as our primary screening parameters. In addition, we have taken a few other criteria into consideration to arrive at a winning strategy.
Price/Cash Flow lesser than X-Industry: This metric measures how much investors pay for $1 of free cash flow. A lower ratio indicates that investors need to pay less for a better cash flow-generating stock.
Return on Assets (ROA) greater than X-Industry: This metric determines how much profit a company earns for every dollar of asset, which includes cash, accounts receivable, property, equipment, inventory and furniture. The higher the ROA, the better it is for the company.
5-Year EPS Historical Growth greater than X-Industry: This criterion indicates that continued earnings momentum has translated into solid cash strength.
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.
Here are five of the 12 stocks that qualified the screen:
CDW Corporation (CDW - Free Report) : Headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL, CDW is a leading provider of integrated information technology solutions to small, medium and large business, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. This Zacks #2 Ranked company delivered a trailing four-quarter average positive earnings surprise of 9.1%. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 13.1%.
Sony Corporation (SNE - Free Report) : Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony designs, manufactures and sells several consumer and industrial electronic equipment. The company’s product roster comprises audio and video equipment, televisions, displays, semiconductors, electronic components, gaming consoles, computers and computer peripherals and telecommunication equipment. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 7.7%. It delivered a trailing four-quarter average positive earnings surprise of 86.9%. Currently, it sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT - Free Report) : Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, Applied Materials is one of the world’s largest suppliers of equipment for the fabrication of semiconductor, flat panel liquid crystal displays, and solar photovoltaic cells and modules. This Zacks #1 Ranked firm delivered a trailing four-quarter average positive earnings surprise of 4.9%. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 8.2%.
CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE - Free Report) : Headquartered in Los Angeles, CBRE Group is a commercial real estate services and investment firm, offering a wide range of services to tenants, owners, lenders and investors in office, retail, industrial, multi-family and other types of commercial real estates in all major metropolitan areas across the globe. It came up with a trailing four-quarter average positive earnings surprise of 11.5%. The company has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 11%. At present, CBRE Group holds a Zacks Rank of 2.
Lam Research Corporation (LRCX - Free Report) : Established in 1980 and headquartered in Fremont, CA, the company supplies wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. This Zacks #2 Ranked firm delivered a trailing four-quarter average positive earnings surprise of 6.9%. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 13.6%.
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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.