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The following is a list of stocks that have lagged the rest of the market over recent weeks, reporting losses over the last quarter. Additionally, these companies have seen accounts receivable grow faster than revenues during the most recent quarter -- an accounting trend that deserves closer attention.

Sometimes, problems with accounts receivable simply indicate a change in the business (like an acquisition), or a lazy collections department. However, extreme differences between accounts receivable and revenue can also suggest a desperate company that's trying to boost sales by giving its customers overly generous payment terms.

Of course, there may be several explanations for these accounting trends. Please use this list as a starting point for your own analysis - check out the 10-Q and related management discussions to find out more.

Financial data sourced from Google Finance. Short float and performance data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.

List sorted by difference between revenue growth and accounts receivable growth.

1. Titanium Metals Corporation (TIE): Industrial Metals & Minerals Industry. Market cap of $3.42B. The stock has lost -0.11% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 15.93% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 41.69%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 16.76% to 21.76% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 6.77%, which implies a short ratio of 2.29 days. The stock has gained 72.83% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Insiders appear to be optimistic on the outlook for the company. On a net basis, they've purchased an average of 294,650 shares per year (over last 2 years).

2. Ameren Corporation (AEE): Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $6.82B. The stock has lost -1.85% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 24.19% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 49.00%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 21.51% to 28.56% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 3.29%, which implies a short ratio of 4.47 days. The stock has gained 24.18% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company appears to be undervalued relative to book value. Price/Book ratio at 0.87, much lower than the industry average of 1.67.

- The company has low debt and great liquidity, which significantly reduces its risk over the coming months. During the most recent quarter, the total Debt/Assets ratio stood at 32.75% vs. the industry average at 32.34%. The company also appears to be more liquid than its competitors. The TTM Current Ratio stands at 1.63, higher than the industry average at 0.99. (Note: All ratios based on the most recent quarter, annualized)

3. Corrections Corporation of America (CXW): Property Management Industry. Market cap of $2.76B. The stock has lost -0.04% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 2.82% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 24.33%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 74.46% to 82.02% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 3.09%, which implies a short ratio of 5.84 days. The stock has gained 35.77% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company has demonstrated rapid cash flow growth over the last five years, which may lower their risk going forward. Five year average cash flow growth at 17.24%, much higher than the industry average at 9.76%.

4. WMS Industries Inc. (WMS-OLD): Recreational Goods Industry. Market cap of $2.5B. The stock has lost -2.61% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 5.82% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 22.68%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 45.53% to 54.51% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-12-31 vs. 3 months ending 2010-12-31). Short float at 5.88%, which implies a short ratio of 4.27 days. The stock has gained 13.84% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Judging by trailing twelve month (TTM) ratios like Return on Equity (ROE), Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Invested Capital (ROI), it's clear that the company's management is doing an excellent job. TTM ROE at 13.72%, lower than the industry average at 26.1%, TTM ROA at 11.51% vs. the industry average at 8.85%, and TTM ROI at 13.35%, higher than the industry average at 11.51%. The company also outperformed its industry competitors in terms of the TTM Return on Sales ratio (14.17% vs. the industry average at 10.06%).

5. Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (ENDP): Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $4.02B. The stock has lost -4.35% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 23.01% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 36.35%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 26.07% to 29.71% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 4.87%, which implies a short ratio of 5.06 days. The stock has gained 78.22% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company outperformed analyst earnings estimates during the most recent quarter, suggesting that the analyst community is underestimating the stock. The company reported earnings per share of $0.86 per share, and exceeded the First Call Consensus of $0.84 (Q3 Earnings on 11/01/10). The company also outperformed analyst estimates over the last year, reporting earnings per share at $2.84, beating the consensus view at $2.72 (based on the estimates of 19 analysts).

6. Dell Inc. (DELL): Personal Computers Industry. Market cap of $26.85B. The stock has lost -3.47% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 19.37% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 31.57%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 30.55% to 35.97% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-30 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-29). Short float at 3.52%, which implies a short ratio of 3.05 days. The stock has gained 1.16% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Insiders appear to be optimistic on the outlook for the company. On a net basis, they've purchased an average of 3,289,932 shares per year (over last 2 years).

7. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market cap of $8.69B. The stock has lost -2.31% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 40.53% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 46.52%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 46.49% to 53.10% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 0.18%, which implies a short ratio of 0.94 days. The stock has gained 34.59% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- The company's capital spending accelerated by 30.68% over the last five years, much faster than the industry average of 19.66%. At least theoretically, this makes them more competitive over the coming years, since their operational assets are more up-to-date.

- Insiders appear to be optimistic on the outlook for the company. On a net basis, they've purchased an average of 972,408 shares per year (over last two years).

8. Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (BRCD): Data Storage Devices Industry. Market cap of $2.72B. The stock has lost -3.00% over the last quarter.

MRQ Revenue grew by 5.49% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 10.66%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 33.64% to 37.69% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-31 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30). Short float at 3.23%, which implies a short ratio of 1.1 days. The stock has lost -11.82% over the last year.

Other Highlights:

- Institutional and mutual fund investors have been net purchasers of the company's shares over the last two quarters, suggesting that the smart money thinks there's more upside to the stock. Institutional investors have been net buyers of 8.4M shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 21.2M net shares purchased in the previous quarter. Mutual fund investors have also been optimistic on the stock. They were net buyers of 2.3M shares during the most recent quarter, vs. 19.9M net shares purchased in the previous quarter.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Eight Underperforming Stocks With Rising Receivables