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Do you consider sales trends when comparing stocks? Since most companies rely on sales as their primary source of profits, a sales analysis should be high on your list. With this idea in mind, we ran a screen.

We began by screening for stocks paying big dividend yields above 4% and sustainable payout ratios below 50%.

We then took a look at these stocks' sales trends by comparing growth in revenue to growth in inventory over the last year. We screened for stocks with negative sales trends, with faster growth in inventory than revenue over the last year. Since inventory represents the portion of goods not yet sold, slower growth in revenue than inventory is considered a negative sign.

To screen for declining liquidity, we also only focused on those companies with inventory increasing as a percent of current assets.

(click to enlarge)

Tool provided by Kapitall.

Do you think these stocks are in hot water? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by change in revenue over the last year.

1. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE:PEG): Operates in the energy industry primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Market cap at $15.78B, most recent closing price at $31.16. Dividend yield at 4.55%, payout ratio at 48.61%. Revenue grew by -14.28% during the most recent quarter ($2,875M vs. $3,354M y/y). Inventory grew by 16.87% during the same time period ($866M vs. $741M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 16.59% to 21.86% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

2. Empire District Electric Co. (NYSE:EDE): Primarily engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Market cap at $845.31M, most recent closing price at $19.94. Dividend yield at 4.99%, payout ratio at 45.28%. Revenue grew by -9.02% during the most recent quarter ($137.14M vs. $150.73M y/y). Inventory grew by 39.56% during the same time period ($62.19M vs. $44.56M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 30.68% to 39.69% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

3. Alliance Resource Partners LP (NASDAQ:ARLP): Produces and markets coal to utilities and industrial users. Market cap at $2.1B, most recent closing price at $56.51. Dividend yield at 7.19%, payout ratio at 49.02%. Revenue grew by 4.8% during the most recent quarter ($443.59M vs. $423.26M y/y). Inventory grew by 32.12% during the same time period ($73.5M vs. $55.63M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 10.46% to 18.27% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

4. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF): Produces iron ore pellets, lump and fines iron ore, and metallurgical coal products. Market cap at $6.81B, most recent closing price at $46.19. Dividend yield at 5.23%, payout ratio at 8.82%. Revenue grew by 6.89% during the most recent quarter ($1,264.7M vs. $1,183.2M y/y). Inventory grew by 46.2% during the same time period ($924.7M vs. $632.5M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 17.03% to 58.26% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

5. American Greetings Corp. (NYSE:AM-OLD): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of greeting cards and other social expression products worldwide. Market cap at $492.45M, most recent closing price at $13.89. Dividend yield at 4.28%, payout ratio at 40.84%. Revenue grew by 7.46% during the most recent quarter ($456.25M vs. $424.59M y/y). Inventory grew by 16.25% during the same time period ($208.94M vs. $179.73M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 25.11% to 32.6% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-02-29 to 3 months ending 2011-02-28).

6. Total SA (NYSE:TOT): Operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. Market cap at $101.81B, most recent closing price at $42.20. Dividend yield at 7.02%, payout ratio at 42.84%. Revenue grew by 12.43% during the most recent quarter ($46,775M vs. $41,602M y/y). Inventory grew by 21.72% during the same time period ($18,886M vs. $15,516M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 24.48% to 28.25% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

7. Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI): Manufactures, distributes, and sells funeral service products to licensed funeral directors operating licensed funeral homes. Market cap at $1.17B, most recent closing price at $18.49. Dividend yield at 4.10%, payout ratio at 45.08%. Revenue grew by 12.91% during the most recent quarter ($259.7M vs. $230M y/y). Inventory grew by 30.71% during the same time period ($91.5M vs. $70M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 17.61% to 27.08% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

8. FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE:FF): Engages in the manufacture and sale of specialty chemicals and bio-based products primarily in the United States. Market cap at $406.59M, most recent closing price at $9.50. Dividend yield at 4.07%, payout ratio at 42.12%. Revenue grew by 55.2% during the most recent quarter ($85.73M vs. $55.24M y/y). Inventory grew by 64.93% during the same time period ($67.95M vs. $41.2M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 19.94% to 27.12% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

*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.