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Validea John Neff Strategy Daily Upgrade Report - 1/15/2020

The following are today's upgrades for Validea's Low PE Investor model based on the published strategy of John Neff. This strategy looks for firms with persistent earnings growth that trade at a discount relative to their earnings growth and dividend yield.

HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP (HFWA) is a small-cap growth stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on John Neff changed from 62% to 81% based on the firm’s underlying fundamentals and the stock’s valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Heritage Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company is engaged in the business of planning, directing and coordinating the business activities of its bank subsidiary, Heritage Bank (the Bank). The Bank's lending activities focus on commercial business lending. The Bank also originates consumer loans, real estate construction and land development loans, and one- to four-family residential loans. The Bank's investment securities available for sale include the United States treasury and the United States Government-sponsored agencies; municipal securities; mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations, which include residential and commercial; collateralized loan obligations; corporate obligations, and other securities. The Bank's primary sources of funds are deposits and loan repayments. Borrowings are used on a short-term basis to compensate for reductions in other sources of funds, such as deposit inflows.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: FAIL
EPS GROWTH: PASS
FUTURE EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH: PASS
TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS
FREE CASH FLOW: PASS
EPS PERSISTENCE: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

CRITEO SA (ADR) (CRTO) is a small-cap value stock in the Advertising industry. The rating according to our strategy based on John Neff changed from 60% to 79% based on the firm’s underlying fundamentals and the stock’s valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Criteo SA is a France-based company specializing in digital performance marketing. Its solution consists of the Criteo Engine, the Company's data assets, access to inventory, and its advertiser and publisher platforms. The Criteo Engine consists of various machine learning algorithms, such as prediction, recommendation, bidding and creative algorithms and the global hardware and software infrastructure. The Criteo Engine delivers advertisements through multiple marketing channels and formats, including display advertising banners, native advertising banners and marketing messages delivered to opt-in e-mail addresses. Advertisements are delivered on all devices and screens, including Web browsers on desktops and laptops, mobile Web browsers on smart phones and tablets, as well as mobile applications. It operates in approximately 90 countries through a network of over 30 international offices located in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
EPS GROWTH: FAIL
FUTURE EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH: PASS
TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS
FREE CASH FLOW: PASS
EPS PERSISTENCE: FAIL

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

Since its inception, Validea's strategy based on John Neff has returned 329.04% vs. 196.18% for the S&P 500. For more details on this strategy, click here

About John Neff: While known as the manager with whom many top managers entrusted their own money, Neff was far from the smooth-talking, high-profile Wall Streeter you might expect. He was mild-mannered and low-key, and the same might be said of the Windsor Fund that he managed for more than three decades. In fact, Neff himself described the fund as "relatively prosaic, dull, [and] conservative." There was nothing dull about his results, however. From 1964 to 1995, Neff guided Windsor to a 13.7 percent average annual return, easily outpacing the S&P 500's 10.6 percent return during that time. That 3.1 percentage point difference is huge over time -- a $10,000 investment in Windsor (with dividends reinvested) at the start of Neff's tenure would have ended up as more than $564,000 by the time he retired, more than twice what the same investment in the S&P would have yielded (about $233,000). Considering the length of his tenure, that track record may be the best ever for a manager of such a large fund.

About Validea: Validea is an investment research service that follows the published strategies of investment legends. Validea offers both stock analysis and model portfolios based on gurus who have outperformed the market over the long-term, including Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch and Martin Zweig. For more information about Validea, click here

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

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