Liquidity of a stock is an important parameter that many investors tend to ignore. It primarily determines a company’s capability to meet debt obligations by converting assets into liquid cash and equivalents.
These stocks have always been in demand owing to their potential to provide maximum returns. However, one should be alert enough before investing in such stocks. While a high liquidity level may imply that the company is clearing its dues at a faster rate compared with peers, it might also indicate that the company is failing to utilize its assets competently/efficiently.
Hence, one may consider a company’s efficiency level in addition to its liquidity for identifying prospective winners.
Measures to Identify Liquid Stocks
Current Ratio: It measures current assets relative to current liabilities. This ratio is used for measuring a company’s potential to meet both short- and long-term debt obligations. Thus, a current ratio — also known as working capital ratio — below 1 indicates that the company has more liabilities than assets. However, a high current ratio does not always indicate that the company is in good financial shape. It may also mean that the company has failed to utilize its assets significantly. Hence, a range of 1 to 3 is considered ideal.
Quick Ratio: Unlike current ratio, quick ratio — also called “acid-test ratio" or "quick assets ratio" — indicates a company’s ability to pay short-term obligations. It considers inventory excluding current assets relative to current liabilities. Like the current ratio, a quick ratio of greater than 1 is desirable.
Cash Ratio: This is the most conservative ratio among the three, as it takes into account only cash and cash equivalents, and invested funds relative to current liabilities. It measures a company’s ability to meet its current debt obligations using the most liquid of assets. Though a cash ratio of more than 1 may point to sound financials, a higher number may indicate inefficiency in cash utilization.
So, a ratio greater than 1 is desirable at all times but may not always appropriately represent a company’s financial condition.
In order to pick the best of the lot, we have added asset utilization, which is a widely used measure of a company’s efficiency, as one of the screening criteria. Asset utilization is the ratio of total sales over the past 12 months to the last four-quarter average of total assets. Though this ratio varies across industries, companies with a ratio higher than their respective industries can be considered efficient.
In order to ensure that these liquid and efficient stocks have solid growth potential, we have added our proprietary Growth Style Score to the screen.
Current Ratio, Quick Ratio and Cash Ratio between 1 and 3 (While liquidity ratios of greater than 1 are desirable, significantly high ratios may indicate inefficiency.)
Asset utilization greater than industry average (Higher asset utilization than the industry average indicates a company’s efficiency.)
Zacks Rank equal to #1 (Only Strong Buy-rated stocks can get through). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Growth Score less than or equal to B (Back-tested results show that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 handily beat other stocks.)
These criteria have narrowed down the universe of more than 7,700 stocks to only 13.
Here are six of the 13 stocks that qualified the screen:
Domiciled in Sunnyvale, CA, Fortinet, Inc. FTNT is a provider of network security appliances and Unified Threat Management (“UTM”) network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has been revised upward by 1.1% to $2.81 per share in the past seven days. The company has a Growth Score of A. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 16.05%, on average.
Bellingham, WA-based eXp World Holdings Inc. EXPI is the holding company for eXp Realty and VirBELA. The company provides cloud-based real estate brokerage services primarily in the United States and Canada. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has been revised to 11 cents from a cent in the past 60 days. The company has a Growth Score of A. Moreover, the consensus mark for current-year sales suggests year-over-year growth of 32.4%.
Headquartered in Miami, FL, Vector Group Ltd. VGR is primarily engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes. The company, which also offers e-cigarettes and residential real estate brokerage services, has a Growth Score of A. Also, the consensus mark for current-year sales suggests year-over-year growth of 3.2%. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 175.06%, on average.
Baltimore, MD-based, Medifast, Inc. MED manufactures and distributes weight loss, weight management, healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised upward by 2.4% over the last 30 days to $6.95 per share. The company has a Growth Score of B. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 14.75%, on average.
Domiciled in San Francisco, CA, Dropbox, Inc. DBX is a provider of collaboration platform that enables users to organize workspace processes with cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization and other subscription-based premium services. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has been revised upward by 5.7% to 74 cents in the past 60 days. The company has a Growth Score of B. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 19.73%, on average.
Switzerland-based Logitech International S.A. LOGI is a global leader in peripherals for personal computers and other digital platforms, which develops and markets innovative products in PC navigation, Internet communications, digital music, home-entertainment control, video security, interactive gaming and wireless devices. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 3.7% over the past 60 days to $2.26 per share. The company has a Growth Score of B. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 6.69%, on average.
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Logitech International S.A. (LOGI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Dropbox, Inc. (DBX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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