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At my firm, we screen more than 400 widely trafficked large cap stocks - and 1400 mid and small caps - every week to uncover emerging trends for our institutional clients.

In order to do this, we attach a score to each stock based on seven hurdles: earnings beats, earnings growth, insider buying, money flow, short interest, valuation and seasonality.

All are weighted differently and the process is designed to find stocks attractive to both fundamental and technical investors.

Once we've run our scores, we aggregate them across both sector and industry.

This gives us an opportunity to spot when sectors are improving or deteriorating, helping focus our clients on baskets most likely to produce winners.

So, what does our latest large cap screen show us on the sector front?

After spending the majority of summer near the top of our sector ranking, utilities have finally started to give up ground to riskier baskets, such as services.

Summer's notorious reputation for volatility often shifts investor attention toward safer, dividend paying equities.

But, as investors start looking toward fall, risk appetite improves, particularly for baskets such as retail. This summer is playing out similarly, with services moving higher alongside better than hoped results from Target (NYSE:TGT), American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) and William Sonoma (NYSE:WSM).

Consumer goods and healthcare stocks also remain high scoring across large cap. And, financials - led by banking, insurers and REITs score above average too.

Utilities and industrials score in line. Technology, which remains mired in weak seasonality, and basics, which have been hit-and-miss this past quarter, continue to score below average.

That's not to say every stock in every sector should be sold.

If that was the case, we wouldn't bother breaking out scores by industry or stock. Instead, sector scores help you objectively evaluate your over and underweight positions.

For example, while technology scores below average overall, software stocks like Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and BMC Software (NASDAQ:BMC) score above average. This is especially intriguing when we consider the S&P Software ETF (NYSEARCA:IGV) offers robust seasonal tailwinds in the month of October, suggesting investors buying into down days in September are likely to be rewarded later this fall.

Similarly, while basics also score poorly, agricultural chemicals, such as C. F. Industries (NYSE:CF) and Agrium (NYSE:AGU) are particularly strong. In the wake of widespread drought, it's likely we'll see opportunity for ammonia nitrogen companies to leverage pricing power next year.

Dropping to stock specific, you can see the following table provides plenty of interesting ideas among scores above 100. And, when we drop down to 90 for our clients, the list gets increasingly eclectic.

LG CAP

8/21/2012

Company Name

Symbol

Sector

Industry

SCORE

Health Care REIT

HCN

FINANCIALS

REITS

110

Abbott Laboratories

ABT

HEALTHCARE

DRUG MANUFACTURERS

105

H C P Inc.

HCP

FINANCIALS

REITS

105

Whole Foods Market Inc

WFM

SERVICES

GROCERY STORES

105

American Elec Pwr Inc

AEP

UTILITIES

ELECTRIC UTILITIES

100

Amgen

AMGN

HEALTHCARE

BIOTECHNOLOGY

100

Baxter International

BAX

HEALTHCARE

MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS & SUPPLIES

100

Boston Properties Inc

BXP

FINANCIALS

REITS

100

Carnival Corp

CCL

SERVICES

GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT

100

Discover Finl Svcs

DFS

FINANCIALS

CREDIT SERVICES

100

DaVita Inc

DVA

HEALTHCARE

SPECIALIZED HEALTH SERVICES

100

Google Inc

GOOG

TECHNOLOGY

INTERNET INFORMATION PROVIDER

100

Pepsico

PEP

CONSUMER GOODS

PROCESSED & PACKAGED GOODS

100

Ventas Inc.

VTR

FINANCIALS

REITS

100

Dollar General

DG

SERVICES

DISCOUNT, VARIETY STORES

95

Walt Disney Company

DIS

SERVICES

ENTERTAINMENT- DIVERSIFIED

95

EQT Corp

EQT

UTILITIES

GAS UTILITIES

95

HDFC Bank Ltd

HDB

FINANCIALS

FOREIGN REGIONAL BANKS

95

Kraft Foods Inc

KFT

CONSUMER GOODS

FOOD - MAJOR DIVERSIFIED

95

Kimco Realty

KIM

FINANCIALS

REITS

95

Coca Cola

KO

CONSUMER GOODS

BEVERAGES

95

Simon Ppty Group Inc N

SPG

FINANCIALS

REITS

95

Target Corp

TGT

SERVICES

DISCOUNT, VARIETY STORES

95

Visa Inc.

V

SERVICES

BUSINESS SERVICES

95

Because the scoring methodology, outlined more in my book here, cuts across fundamentals and technicals, investors are able to be idea agnostic.

And, while no system is perfect, having a screening process can prove exceedingly valuable for investors in identifying new ideas and evaluating current holdings.

At a minimum, using such a system helps keep you honest in evaluating the catalysts behind your decisions to buy, sell and hold.

Disclosure: I am long CRM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: The Best And Worst Large Caps To Buy This Week