Profitability is a difficult concept to measure, especially with the hundreds of different options on how to evaluate it. One of the most important ways is to evaluate a company's sources of profitability.
This can be done through DuPont analysis of return on equity (ROE) profitability. We ran DuPont on stocks that appear to be highly undervalued stocks, with PEG below 1 and P/FCF below 15.
DuPont analyzes return on equity (ROE, or net income/equity) profitability by breaking ROE up into three components:
= (Net Profit/Equity)
= (Net profit/Sales)*(Sales/Assets)*(Assets/Equity)
= (Net Profit margin)*(Asset turnover)*(Leverage ratio)
It therefore focuses on companies with the following positive characteristics: Increasing ROE along with,
•Decreasing leverage, (i.e. decreasing Asset/Equity ratio)
•Improving asset use efficiency (i.e. increasing Sales/Assets ratio) and improving net profit margin (i.e. increasing Net Income/Sales ratio)
Companies with all of these characteristics are experiencing increasing profits due to operations and not to increased use of financial leverage.
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.
We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.
Do you think these companies have strong profitability? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.
1. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Designs, manufactures and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. PEG at 0.83. P/FCF at 13.49. MRQ net profit margin at 28.2% vs. 22.45% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.334 vs. 0.308 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.54 vs. 1.587 y/y.
2. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF): Manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. PEG at 0.8. P/FCF at 6.64. MRQ net profit margin at 25.54% vs. 16.18% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.191 vs. 0.141 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.974 vs. 2.161 y/y.
3. Nacco Industries Inc. (NYSE:NC): Engages in lift trucks, small appliances, specialty retail and mining businesses primarily in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. PEG at 0.24. P/FCF at 8.33. MRQ net profit margin at 5.72% vs. 4.43% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.528 vs. 0.522 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 3.126 vs. 3.707 y/y.
4. Protective Life Corp. (NYSE:PL): Engages in the production, distribution and administration of insurance and investment products in the United States. PEG at 0.9. P/FCF at 4.61. MRQ net profit margin at 10.13% vs. 9.94% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.017 vs. 0.017 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 12.543 vs. 14.278 y/y.
5. Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. (NASDAQ:PRAA): Provides outsourced receivables management and related services in the U. PEG at 0.76. P/FCF at 7.14. MRQ net profit margin at 22.52% vs. 20.49% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.11 vs. 0.101 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.799 vs. 2.03 y/y.
6. Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): Operates as an office products company. PEG at 0.96. P/FCF at 11.68. MRQ net profit margin at 4.39% vs. 4.28% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.481 vs. 0.461 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.915 vs. 2.003 y/y.
7. Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE:SYA): Operates as a financial services company in the life insurance industry in the United States. PEG at 0.77. P/FCF at 1.41. MRQ net profit margin at 13.21% vs. 12.56% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.02 vs. 0.019 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 9.002 vs. 10.769 y/y.
8. TriMas Corporation (NASDAQ:TRS): Designs, manufacturers and distributes various products for commercial, industrial, and consumer markets worldwide. PEG at 0.72. P/FCF at 12.94. MRQ net profit margin at 5.1% vs. 2.68% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.263 vs. 0.23 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 5.677 vs. 8.242 y/y.
*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.