The U.S. equity markets have its mojo back, courtesy a new inflation strategy by the Fed in order to restore full employment across the country. The historic shift in the Fed stance put more emphasis on boosting employment, while allowing inflation to rise above the pre-determined 2% rate for some time during the period of economic expansion with interest rates kept at near-zero levels. The central bank aimed to maintain an average inflation rate of 2% rather than keeping it fixed, by offsetting periods when it has been running persistently below 2% with that of the periods for which it ran high. This is expected to encourage banks to keep low interest rates for a longer period of time, likely stimulating economic growth to help tackle rising unemployment.
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, identifying cash-rich stocks alone does not make for a solid investment proposition unless it is backed by attractive efficiency ratios like return on equity (ROE). A high ROE ensures that the company is reinvesting 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 20 stocks that qualified the screen:
Lam Research Corporation LRCX: Headquartered in Fremont, CA, Lam Research supplies wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. This Zacks #1 Ranked company has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15.4%. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6%, on average.
Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY: Incorporated in 1966 and headquartered in Richfield, MN, Best Buy is a multinational specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment software, communication, food preparation, wellness, heath, security, appliances and related services. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 33.5%, on average. The Zacks Rank #2 company has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8.5%.
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. TROW: Founded in 1937 and headquartered in Baltimore, T. Rowe is a global investment management organization that provides a broad array of mutual funds, sub-advisory services and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans and financial intermediaries. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.3%, on average. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 7.8%. T. Rowe has a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. CDNS: Based in San Jose, CA, Cadence Design offers software, hardware, services and reusable IC design blocks to electronic systems and semiconductor customers. This Zacks #2 Ranked firm has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 167.1%, on average. It has a long-term earnings growth projection of 13.7%.
KLA Corporation KLAC: San Jose, CA-based KLA Corporation is an original equipment manufacturer of process diagnostics and control equipment and yield management solutions required for the fabrication of semiconductor integrated circuits or chips. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.6%, on average. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 10.3%.
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.