4 Undervalued, Highly Shorted Stocks With Strong Sources Of Profitability

Includes: JBLU, PDLI, TER, VCI
by: Kapitall

Do you consider yourself a contrarian investor? For ideas on how to search for potentially underestimated and undervalued names, we ran a screen.

We began by screening for stocks with bearish sentiment, with float shorts above 10%. We then screened for those that also appear undervalued relative to earnings growth, with PEG below 1.

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


= (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.

Do you think these stocks should be trading higher? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU): Provides passenger air transportation services in the United States. Market cap at $1.69B, most recent closing price at $5.75. MRQ net profit margin at 3.44% vs. 2.93% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.183 vs. 0.173 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 3.752 vs. 4.049 y/y.

2. PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDLI): Engages in the management of antibody humanization patents and royalty assets, which consist of Queen et al. Market cap at $1.05B, most recent closing price at $7.28. MRQ net profit margin at 57.% vs. 54.82% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.341 vs. 0.31 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at -2.164 vs. -1.112 y/y.

3. Teradyne Inc. (NYSE:TER): Provides automatic test equipment products and services worldwide. Market cap at $3.17B, most recent closing price at $16.54. MRQ net profit margin at 19.13% vs. 16.47% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.188 vs. 0.175 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 1.38 vs. 1.433 y/y.

4. Valassis Communications Inc. (NYSE:VCI): Operates as a media and marketing services company primarily in the United States. Market cap at $1.07B, most recent closing price at $26.47. MRQ net profit margin at 7.01% vs. 5.2% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.333 vs. 0.324 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 3.385 vs. 3.497 y/y.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, 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.

Business relationship disclosure: Business relationship disclosure: Kapitall is a team of analysts. This article was written by Sabina Bhatia, one of our writers. We did not receive compensation for this article (other than from Seeking Alpha), and we have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.