December 1, 2017

An Educational Look at Apple (AAPL)

Analyzing Apple

An Apple by itself

Is Apple a stock worth buying? Other people have discussed (at length) its “questionable” product decisions, such as:

  • The touch bar
  • getting rid of Touch Id in favor of using facial recognition
  • Scrapping a whole ecosystem of connectors to push the “Lightning cable”
  • Eliminating the headphone jack from the newest generation of phones.

Beyond those product decisions, how does Apple, the company, perform from a quantitative point of view? What do the financials illustrate, and what should investors’ next course of action be??

To do this effectively the company must be broken up into four individual parts:

  1. Income statement – Earnings, to profit margins, revenue, expenses, etc
  2. Balance sheet – Does it have too many liabilities?
November 20, 2017

Investment Green Flags – High Cash Flow Score

Now, this flag looks incredibly simple, but whenever you see orange text in Equities Lab, it means that there is a deeper formula to explore. Clicking on that formula we are presented with the following –

Though the flag itself is simple, the underlying formula is not. Understanding and analyzing cash flow statements takes time. Thankfully, we can do it easily here by importing the Cash Flow Score – a number from 0 to 10 based on the above metrics. For each line that is true for a company, it will score 1 point. The lines look for the following –

  • A company must be ranked in the bottom 35% of all companies within their sector for (total debt 1Q/free cash flow t12m) and free cash flow MUST be a positive number.
November 9, 2017

Investment Green Flag – Positive Operating Cash Flow over the Past Year

We’ve all heard the old trope that “Cash is King.” Well, in terms of a company it just might be. As part of our Green Flag score we have created a line that requires that a company have a positive operating cash flow over the past four quarters.

If you are unfamiliar with what operating cash flow is, it is exactly what the name suggests – cash flow from operations.

Each of our Green Flags must conform to a few rules to ensure that they are actually green flags in investors’ eyes. One such requirement is that a flag must have a win ratio of at least 50%.…

November 9, 2017

Run Backtests in the Background with Recent Backtests

Highlighting Recent Backtests

Even with advanced caching methods and multiple speed upgrades, highly complex screeners still take some time to run over the past 20 years. To combat the wait time – and allow you more freedom to analyze strategies and their underlying companies – we built the “Recent Backtest” section. This section will enable you to take screeners that may have a long runtime and send them to the background, thus, allowing you to move freely throughout the platform while you wait.

To send a screen to the recent backtest tab, you first need to run the test. While it is running, select “run in background”; once clicked, the above prompt will pop up.…

November 2, 2017

Ranking the Growth of Free Cash Flow and Finding the Leaders

Intuitively, most investors would assume that consistent growth in free cash flow within a company, would result in a high performing stock. Well today we’re going to test out that theory with the “Free Cash Flow Growth Leaders Stock Screener”. With this screener, we’re looking for:

· Large and stable companies; companies that have a market cap over a billion dollars sectioned off into their respective sectors.

· Companies that rank in the top 15% of their sectors for free cash flow growth over the last trading year as long as their FCF is greater than 0.

We plotted two extra variables, capital expenditures and sales growth.…

October 30, 2017

Green Flag: PEG Ratio Greater than Zero

Investment Green Flags: PEG > 0

Continuing with our green flag series, today we are going to be taking a look at the PEG ratio, and how well companies perform when their ratio is above 0.

Though an excellent flag, it doesn’t mean anything on its own – especially if you aren’t familiar with a PEG ratio. PEG is a ratio that was designed to look at the trade-off between the price of the stock, how much money the company is bringing in per share, and the annual eps growth.

We’ve taken it a bit further in our calculation and looked for the average annual EPS growth over the past five years.…

October 26, 2017

Investment Green Flags – Decreasing Shares Outstanding

Share Buyback Programs

A company purchasing back its shares tends to increase the stock price for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that the firm and its employees are confident in the direction the company is heading, and second, it cuts down on the shares available for investors to purchase purchasing the price up through basic supply and demand.

Below, we’ve outlined one of our green flag indicators “Decreasing Shares Outstanding” which can be found within our Green Flags Score.

Like all green flags, we want to keep this to be as simple as possible. We are building a piece of a larger score, not an entire screener.…

October 19, 2017

What is your definition of “high dividend?”

How high are “high” dividend stocks?

As the markets continue to lack volatility, a number of investors are attempting to find opportunities outside of the traditional growth stocks. This leads many of them to alternatives such as forex, options, etc. However, some investors are still attempting to find gains in the equity markets, and a number of them are doing so through looking for companies with exceptionally high dividend yields. I have a little experience in dividend investing, but not enough to give my thoughts on the matter without running a few tests.

Above we have created a simple stock screener that ranks all companies in the market based on their dividend yield and returns the top 25% of them.…

October 12, 2017

Investment Green Flags – High F-Score

High Piotroski F-Score

 

A recurring name throughout our software and website, the F-score has been continuously tested under many different circumstances and never ceases to amaze me. It may be simplistic, but, when used correctly, can be a very powerful tool for your portfolio.

For this Green Flag we want to look at the two calculations we have in the system for the Piotroski F-Score – Yearly and Trailing 12 Months. If you are unsure of the difference, the yearly score is based on the most recent annual data, while the T12M relies on the four most recent quarters. This slight difference just means that the T12M score is two-quarters ahead of the yearly score data wise.…

October 3, 2017

How to Long or Short Bitcoin

In a nutshell, bitcoin is either something as monumental as the introduction of the internet or as futile as the tech bubble of the late 90s. Bitcoin has been in the news for quite some time now, and over time, one begins to wonder if this is a bet you should be in on. Yet, perhaps your ignorance of this new asset may hinder you from taking that first long/short position—everyone has got to start somewhere. This article has one sole purpose, and that is to increase your confidence in opening a bitcoin position by going over the procedures and implications of opening a long or short position on bitcoin.