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Looking for serial winners? To create the list below we collected stocks with a history of surprising the market with positive earnings reports, with an average earnings surprise of at least 5% over the last five quarterly reports.

From there we looked at the financial statements of all qualifying companies to find names with low leverage and encouraging sales trends. Here are the details:

We looked for companies with a debt-to-equity ratio of less than 0.1. This allowed us to focus on strong credit quality companies. When we analyzed the balance sheet we focused on the total debt of the company instead of only long-term debt.

Finally, we researched those stocks with strong sales trends, comparing growth in revenue to growth in accounts receivable. Since accounts receivable is the portion of revenue not yet received, and there is no guarantee the money will ever be received, the smaller the portion of revenue made up of receivables, the healthier the company's revenue.

We screened for stocks seeing faster growth in revenue than accounts receivable year-over-year, as well as accounts receivable comprising a smaller portion of current assets over the same time period.

The List

Our analysis of the financials left us 6 companies with strong top-line growth and debt-to-equity of less than 0.1.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in monthly return for the stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Do you think these stocks will continue to surprise? Use the list below as a starting point for your analysis:

1. Arbitron Inc. (ARB): Provides media and marketing information services in the United States and internationally.

  • Market cap at $1.25B, most recent closing price at $46.86.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.
  • Revenue grew by 3.81% during the most recent quarter ($124.72M vs. $120.14M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by -7.34% during the same time period ($59.19M vs. $63.88M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 66.44% to 42.99% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-12-31 to 3 months ending 2011-12-31).
  • The company is expected to report earnings on April 18th, 2013. In Mar 2012: Reported EPS at 0.64 vs. estimate at 0.62 (surprise of 3.2%). In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.37 vs. estimate at 0.28 (surprise of 32.1%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.61 vs. estimate at 0.6 (surprise of 1.7%). In Dec 2012: Reported 0.68 vs. estimate at 0.65 (surprise of 4.6%. [Average earnings surprise at 10.4%].

2. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI): Publishes online, personal computer (PC), console, handheld, and mobile games of interactive entertainment worldwide.

  • Market cap at $16.4B, most recent closing price at $14.73.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.
  • Revenue grew by 25.75% during the most recent quarter ($1,768M vs. $1,406M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by 8.94% during the same time period ($707M vs. $649M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 12.06% to 11.27% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-12-31 to 3 months ending 2011-12-31).
  • The company is expected to report earnings on May 6th, 2013. In Mar 2012: Reported EPS at 0.06 vs. estimate at 0.04 (surprise of 50%). In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.2 vs. estimate at 0.12 (surprise of 66.7%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.15 vs. estimate at 0.08 (surprise of 87.5%). In Dec 2012: Reported 0.78 vs. estimate at 0.72 (surprise of 8.3%. [Average earnings surprise at 53.12%].

3. Avago Technologies Limited (AVGO): Engages in the design, development, and supply of analog semiconductor devices worldwide.

  • Market cap at $8.59B, most recent closing price at $34.88.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.
  • Revenue grew by 2.31% during the most recent quarter ($576M vs. $563M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by -13.64% during the same time period ($266M vs. $308M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 22.45% to 15.53% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2013-02-03 to 3 months ending 2012-01-29).
  • The company reported earnings on February 26th, 2013. In Apr 2012: Reported EPS at 0.61 vs. estimate at 0.59 (surprise of 3.4%). In Jul 2012: Reported EPS at 0.66 vs. estimate at 0.63 (surprise of 4.8%). In Oct 2012: Reported EPS at 0.71 vs. estimate at 0.67 (surprise of 6%). In Jan 2013: Reported 0.58 vs. estimate at 0.55 (surprise of 5.5%. [Average earnings surprise at 4.92%].

4. Cerner Corporation (CERN): Designs, develops, markets, installs, hosts, and supports healthcare information technology, healthcare devices, and content solutions for healthcare organizations and consumers worldwide.

  • Market cap at $16.33B, most recent closing price at $94.82.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.07.
  • Revenue grew by 15.39% during the most recent quarter ($710.38M vs. $615.63M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by 2.6% during the same time period ($577.85M vs. $563.21M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 37.49% to 32.27% during the most recent quarter (comparing 13 weeks ending 2012-12-29 to 13 weeks ending 2011-12-31).
  • The company is expected to report earnings on April 25th, 2013. In Mar 2012: Reported EPS at 0.54 vs. estimate at 0.5 (surprise of 8%). In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.59 vs. estimate at 0.55 (surprise of 7.3%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.6 vs. estimate at 0.59 (surprise of 1.7%). In Dec 2012: Reported 0.67 vs. estimate at 0.64 (surprise of 4.7%. [Average earnings surprise at 5.42%].

5. CommVault Systems, Inc. (CVLT): Provides data and information management software applications and related services primarily in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

  • Market cap at $3.73B, most recent closing price at $80.78.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.
  • Revenue grew by 23.65% during the most recent quarter ($128.15M vs. $103.64M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by 10.56% during the same time period ($71.42M vs. $64.6M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 18.7% to 14.35% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-12-31 to 3 months ending 2011-12-31).
  • The company is expected to report earnings on May 6th, 2013. In Mar 2012: Reported EPS at 0.29 vs. estimate at 0.26 (surprise of 11.5%). In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.3 vs. estimate at 0.23 (surprise of 30.4%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.38 vs. estimate at 0.28 (surprise of 35.7%). In Dec 2012: Reported 0.39 vs. estimate at 0.32 (surprise of 21.9%. [Average earnings surprise at 24.88%].

6. DSP Group Inc. (DSPG): Operates as a global provider of wireless chipset solutions for converged communications at home.

  • Market cap at $167.85M, most recent closing price at $7.71.
  • Debt-to-equity at 0.
  • Revenue grew by 0.6% during the most recent quarter ($38.43M vs. $38.2M y/y). Accounts receivable grew by -22.36% during the same time period ($24.06M vs. $30.99M y/y). Receivables, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 32.16% to 30.42% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-12-31 to 3 months ending 2011-12-31).
  • The company is expected to report earnings on April 29th, 2013. In Mar 2012: Reported EPS at -0.05 vs. estimate at -0.12 (surprise of 58.3%). In Jun 2012: Reported EPS at 0.02 vs. estimate at -0.05 (surprise of 140%). In Sep 2012: Reported EPS at 0.01 vs. estimate at -0.08 (surprise of 112.5%). In Dec 2012: Reported 0.06 vs. estimate at 0.02 (surprise of 200%. [Average earnings surprise at 127.7%].

*Price data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 6 Low-Debt Stocks With A History Of Earnings Surprises And Encouraging Sales Trends