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Do you worry about stock market volatility? One idea is to consider a stock's recent trading volatility. To illustrate, we ran a screen.

We began by screening for low-volatility stocks, with average intra-day volatility over the last month under 2% (meaning, on average, these stocks have traded within a 2% range each day). We then screened for those with positive momentum, trading within 5% of their 52-week high.

Then to analyze these companies' profitability, we ran DuPont analysis on the names. DuPont analyzes profitability by breaking up return on equity (net income/equity) into three components:

ROE

= (Net Profit/Equity)

= (Net profit/Sales)*(Sales/Assets)*(Assets/Equity)

= (Net Profit margin)*(Asset turnover)*(Leverage ratio)

Because increases in net margin and asset turnover are considered good things, DuPont focuses on companies with these 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)

Those companies that pass DuPont are seeing positive trends in the sources of their increasing profitability, which adds further weight to the idea that the names are profitable.

For an interactive version of this chart, click on the image below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Tool provided by Kapitall.

Do you think these stocks offer less risk? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by average intra-day volatility over the last month.

1. MEDTOX Scientific Inc. (MTOX): Provides forensic and clinical laboratory services, and offers diagnostic devices. Market cap at $241.65M. Price at $26.94. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 0.30%. The stock is trading 0.37% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 5.25% vs. 3.11% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.362 vs. 0.332 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.334 vs. 1.411 y/y.

2. Interline Brands Inc. (IBI): Operates as a direct marketer and distributor of maintenance, repair, and operations products in the United States, Canada, and Central America. Market cap at $806.06M. Price at $25.30. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 0.65%. The stock is trading 0.59% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 2.38% vs. 2.31% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.303 vs. 0.297 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.975 vs. 1.986 y/y.

3. Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK): Provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. Market cap at $127.17B. Price at $41.81. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.29%. The stock is trading 0.12% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 14.82% vs. 9.01% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.111 vs. 0.109 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.923 vs. 1.947 y/y.

4. Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL): Produces and markets various meat and food products in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $8.05B. Price at $30.57. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.39%. The stock is trading 0.39% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 6.35% vs. 5.59% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.467 vs. 0.44 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.541 vs. 1.688 y/y.

5. American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK): Provides water and wastewater services to residential, commercial, industrial, public, and other customers in the United States and Canada. Market cap at $6.14B. Price at $34.82. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.44%. The stock is trading 0.51% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 6.75% vs. 4.4% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.044 vs. 0.042 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 3.311 vs. 3.404 y/y.

6. Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities. Market cap at $40.82B. Price at $94.42. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.47%. The stock is trading 1.18% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 1.73% vs. 1.57% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.802 vs. 0.765 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 2.212 vs. 2.255 y/y.

7. Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF): Provides title insurance, mortgage services, specialty insurance, and information services in the United States. Market cap at $4.32B. Price at $19.39. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.54%. The stock is trading 1.57% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 6.25% vs. 3.75% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.149 vs. 0.145 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 2.143 vs. 2.272 y/y.

8. Allergan Inc. (AGN): Operates as a multi-specialty healthcare company primarily in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. Market cap at $29.42B. Price at $95.65. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.55%. The stock is trading 1.43% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 16.51% vs. 12.45% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.16 vs. 0.152 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.591 vs. 1.72 y/y.

9. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (PAA): Engages in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of crude oil, refined products, and liquefied petroleum gas and other natural gas-related petroleum products in the United States and Canada. Market cap at $13.16B. Price at $81.56. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.55%. The stock is trading 2.22% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 2.5% vs. 2.37% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.54 vs. 0.522 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 2.848 vs. 3.02 y/y.

10. Health Care REIT, Inc. (HCN): Engages in investment, development, and management of properties. Market cap at $12.65B. Price at $59.18. Average intra-day volatility over the last month at 1.61%. The stock is trading 0.02% below its 52-week high. MRQ net profit margin at 13.44% vs. 13.04% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.027 vs. 0.019 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.889 vs. 2.003 y/y.

*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 10 Low-Risk Stocks Trading Near Highs With Strong Sources Of Profitability