It might seem appropriate to lay a wager on stocks based on profit numbers and earnings surprises in this stretch of the current reporting cycle. However, betting on stocks with a healthy cash level can be far more rewarding because though profit is a company’s goal, cash is its lifeblood for existence and a measure of resiliency. This has become all the more important as the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unprecedented market disruptions and dislocations, and dampened liquidity.
Even a profit-making company can face a dearth of cash flow if its profits are not channelized in the right direction and finally end up filing for bankruptcy. However, a company with a healthy cash level not only enjoys the flexibility to make decisions, chase potential investments and run its growth engine but also weathers any market mayhem.
To figure out this efficiency, one needs to consider a company’s net cash flow. While in any business cash moves in and out, it is net cash flow that explains how much money a company is actually generating.
If a company is experiencing a positive cash flow then it denotes an increase in its liquid assets, which gives it the means to meet debt obligations, shell out for expenses, reinvest in business, endure downturns and finally return wealth to shareholders. On the other hand, a negative cash flow indicates a decline in the company’s liquidity, which in turn lowers its flexibility to support these moves.
However, having a positive cash flow merely does not secure a company’s future growth. To ride on the growth curve, a company must have its cash flow increasing because that indicates management’s efficiency in regulating its cash movements and less dependency on outside financing for running its business.
Therefore, keep yourself abreast with the following screen to bet on stocks with rising cash flows.
To find stocks that have seen increasing cash flow over time, we ran the screen for those whose cash flow in the latest reported quarter was at least equal to or greater than the 5-year average cash flow per common share. This implies a positive trend and increasing cash over a period of time.
In addition to this we chose:
Zacks Rank 1: No matter whether market conditions are good or bad, stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) have a proven history of outperformance. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Average Broker Rating 1: This indicates that brokers are also highly hopeful about the company’s future performance.
Current Price greater than or equal to $5: This sieves out low-priced stocks.
VGM Score of B or better: This score is also of great assistance in selecting stocks. Importantly, this scoring system helps in picking winning stocks in their individual industry categories.
Here are four of the eight stocks that qualified the screening:
Smurfit Kappa Group Plc SMFKY: This Dublin, Ireland-based company operates as a paper and paperboard manufacturer and converter. It also engages in the manufacturing, distribution and selling of containerboard, corrugated containers and other paper-based packaging products, such as solid board, graphic board and bag-in-box. The stock has a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has moved up 6.9% over the past two months.
Turning Point Brands, Inc. TPB provides tobacco products. The company's product consists of moist snuff, loose leaf chewing tobacco, cigarette papers, make-your-own cigar wraps and cigar smoking tobacco, cigars and liquid and tobacco vapor. At present, the stock has a VGM Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.49 for the current-year earnings moved 19.7% north over the past week.
Griffon Corporation GFF is a diversified management and holding company conducting business through wholly-owned subsidiaries. Currently, the stock has a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2020 earnings has been revised upward by 25.6% to $1.08 in 30 days’ time.
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA FMS provides products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis following chronic kidney failure. The stock has a VGM Score of A. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings moving upward 9.5% over the past week.
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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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Fresenius Medical Care AG Co. KGaA (FMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
SMURFIT KAPPA (SMFKY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Turning Point Brands, Inc. (TPB): Free Stock Analysis Report
Griffon Corporation (GFF): 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.