Return on equity is an investor-favorite metric when it comes to cherry-picking quality stocks. But ROE doesn’t always tell the complete story and an investor might make a mistake by selecting stocks based on this ratio. Thus, taking a step beyond the basic ROE and analyzing it at an advanced level or applying the DuPont technique seem a prudent decision.
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 an 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 lower priced stocks, this criterion can be removed.
Here are five of the 12 stocks that made it through the screen:
Medifast Inc MED: This company has a Zacks Rank of 1 and is a leading manufacturer and distributor of clinically proven healthy living products and programs. It belongs to a top-ranked Zacks industry (top 41%). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Foot Locker Inc. FL: This company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and is a leading global retailer of athletically inspired shoes and apparels. It belongs to a favorably-ranked Zacks sector (top 38%).
Comfort Systems USA Inc. FIX: This Zacks #2 Ranked company is a national provider of comprehensive heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installation, maintenance plus repair and replacement service. It belongs to a solid-ranked Zacks industry (top 17%).
EMCOR Group Inc. EME: This is a provider of critical infrastructure systems that holds a Zacks Rank of 2. The stock hails from the top-ranked Zacks industry (top 42%).
Robert Half International Inc. RHI: This Zacks #1 Ranked company is the world's first and the largest specialized staffing firm. It comes from the top-ranked Zacks industry (top 23%).
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.
Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.
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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Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (FIX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
EMCOR Group, Inc. (EME) : Free Stock Analysis Report
MEDIFAST INC (MED) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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