Friday, October 27, 2006


Weekly Summary: Screening for fun and profit

My portfolio would have stayed in the plus column today were it not for PTG getting hit over the head with a two by four and losing more than 10 percent of its value. Still, I ended the week with a profit: up $4,824 (0.6 percent), more or less in line with the overall market (p.s. when I say "profit", all I really mean is the change in my portfolio, not a realized capital gain).

Quite a few readers have asked me what I look for when I run stock screens. Here are the most important variables that I look at (in no particular order):

  • Price to sales
  • Gross profit margin
  • Price to earnings
  • Price to operating cash flow
  • Price to book
  • Past revenue growth
  • Past earnings growth
  • Price to enterprise value
  • PEG ratio
  • Debt to equity
  • Net insider buying
  • Consensus analyst recommendation

    One thing I would really like to screen for is "current price relative to average analyst price target". One of the things that attracted me to TSYS and SPPI, for instance, was that the consensus analyst price target for these stocks was much higher than the price at which I bought them. If anyone knows an online screener that screens for that particular criteria, please let me know and I shall be very grateful :)

  • Comments:
    Which stock screeners do you like? Yahoo? Zacks?

    Also, can you give an example of your favorite criteria for screens?
 give analyst target pricing along w/ a search engine for analysts/stock.

    For your suggested search criteria, are there any %'s or values that you set for your stock decisions that you feel keep you out of the red?
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