4 Undervalued, Highly Shorted Stocks With Strong Sources Of Profitability

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 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.

Tool provided by Kapitall (www.kapitall.com).

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

List sorted by float short. List Average 1-Year Return: 42%

1. Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. (NASDAQ:BECN): Distributes residential and non-residential roofing materials in the United States and Canada. Market cap at $1.35B, most recent closing price at $28.66. PEG at 1. Float short at 16.88%. MRQ net profit margin at 4.53% vs. 4.45% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.459 vs. 0.442 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 2.008 vs. 2.396 y/y.

2. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU): Provides passenger air transportation services in the United States. Market cap at $1.38B, most recent closing price at $4.87. PEG at 0.4. Float short at 16.4%. MRQ net profit margin at 4.07% vs. 2.17% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.179 vs. 0.167 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 3.874 vs. 4.088 y/y.

3. 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 $1.07B, most recent closing price at $7.62. PEG at 0.37. Float short at 12.21%. MRQ net profit margin at 58.38% vs. 57.31% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.485 vs. 0.43 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at -1.613 vs. -0.968 y/y.

4. Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE:SAH): Operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. Market cap at $1.B, most recent closing price at $18.87. PEG at 0.71. Float short at 12.08%. MRQ net profit margin at 1.29% vs. 1.1% y/y. MRQ sales/assets at 0.885 vs. 0.867 y/y. MRQ assets/equity at 4.396 vs. 4.527 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. 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.