Get Rid of These 5 Toxic Stocks to Protect Your Portfolio

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Investing in a stock whose current bloated price is not justified by its true inherent potential, is bound to result in loss over time. Pinpointing these overblown toxic stocks on a regular basis and abandoning them at the right time is one of the secrets to a winning investment strategy.

Overpricing of toxic stocks may be due to the irrational exuberance associated with them or due to some serious fundamental lacunae. And if you own such stocks for an unreasonable period, they could inflict severe damage to your wealth.

However, if you can identify toxic stocks, you may gain in a bear market by resorting to an investing strategy called short selling. This strategy allows one to sell a stock first and then purchase it when its price falls.

Naturally, short selling excels in bear markets, while it typically loses money in bull markets.

So, just like detecting promising stocks, picking up toxic stocks and getting rid of them at the right time is crucial to protecting one's portfolio from massive losses or making profits by short selling them.

Screening Criteria

Here is a winning strategy that will help you identify the over-hyped toxic stocks:

Most recent Debt/Equity Ratio greater than the median industry average: High debt/equity ratio implies high leverage. And high leverage indicates a huge level of repayment that the company has to make in connection with the debt amount.

P/E using 12-month forward EPS estimate greater than 50: A very high forward P/E implies that a stock is highly overvalued.

% Change in F (1) and F (2) Estimate (12 Weeks) less than -5: Negative EPS estimate revision for this and the next fiscal year during the past 12 weeks point to analysts' pessimism.

Zacks Rank more than or equal to #3: We have not considered Buy-rated stocks that generally outperform the market.

Here are five of the 10 stocks that made it through the screen:

Covanta Holding Corporation CVA , the Morristown, NJ-based other alternative energy industry company is the owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects. Over the last 60 days, its second-quarter 2016 estimate has remained unchanged at a loss of 4 cents per share. Covanta Holding carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Pleasanton, CA-based ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc. ZLTQ is a medical technology company. Over the past 30 days, its current quarter estimate has remained unchanged at a loss of 7 cents per share.  The company has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Glendale, CA-based, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. DWA is engaged in developing and producing computer generated animated feature films for a broad movie-going audience. Over the past one-month period, the second-quarter earnings estimate has widened from a loss of 2 cents per share to a loss of 4 cents. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #4.

ViaSat Inc. VSAT is a Carlsbad, CA-based wireless equipment company. Over the past two months, the second-quarter earnings estimate has remained unchanged at 15 cents per share. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #4.

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. LYV is a Beverly Hills, CA-based live entertainment company. Over the past seven days, the estimate for the quarter ending June 30 has remained unchanged at 5 cents per share. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks' portfolios and strategies are available at
: https://www.zacks.com/performance .

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VIASAT INC (VSAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

LIVE NATION ENT (LYV): Free Stock Analysis Report

COVANTA HOLDING (CVA): Free Stock Analysis Report

DREAMWORKS ANIM (DWA): Free Stock Analysis Report

ZELTIQ AESTHETC (ZLTQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Business , Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: VSAT , LYV , CVA ,

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