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Validea John Neff Strategy Daily Upgrade Report - 12/4/2019

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.

ATLANTIC UNION BANKSHARES CORP (AUB) is a mid-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: Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation, formerly Union Bankshares Corporation, is a financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company operates through a community bank segment. The Company offers financial services through its community bank subsidiary, Union Bank & Trust (the Bank) and three non-bank financial services affiliates. The Company's non-bank financial services affiliates include Union Insurance Group, LLC, which provides various lines of insurance products; Old Dominion Capital Management, Inc., Outfitter Advisors, Ltd., and Dixon, Hubard, Feinour & Brown, Inc., which provide investment advisory services. The community bank segment included one subsidiary bank, which provided loan, investment, and trust services to retail and commercial customers.

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

MERCANTILE BANK CORP. (MBWM) is a small-cap value 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: Mercantile Bank Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company owns the Mercantile Bank of Michigan (the Bank). The Bank is a state banking company. The Bank provides commercial banking services primarily to small- to medium-sized businesses and retail banking services. The Bank makes secured and unsecured commercial, construction, mortgage and consumer loans, and accepts checking, savings and time deposits. The Bank also enables customers to conduct certain loan and deposit transactions by personal computer and through mobile applications. Courier service is provided to certain commercial customers, and safe deposit facilities are available at its office locations. The Bank's commercial lending group originates commercial loans and leases primarily in its market areas. The Bank's primary deposit products are checking, savings and term certificate accounts.

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

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

COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR COMPANY (COLM) is a mid-cap growth stock in the Apparel/Accessories 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: Columbia Sportswear Company is an apparel and footwear company. The Company designs, sources, markets and distributes outdoor lifestyle apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment under the Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, prAna and other brands. Its geographic segments are the United States, Latin America and Asia Pacific (LAAP), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Canada. The Company develops and manages its merchandise in categories, including apparel, accessories and equipment, and footwear. It distributes its products through a mix of wholesale distribution channels, its own direct-to-consumer channels (retail stores and e-commerce), independent distributors and licensees. As of December 31, 2016, its products were sold in approximately 90 countries. In 59 of those countries, it sells to independent distributors to whom it has granted distribution rights. Contract manufacturers located outside the United States manufacture all of its products.

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

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

ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L.P. (EPD) is a large-cap value stock in the Natural Gas Utilities industry. The rating according to our strategy based on John Neff changed from 58% to 77% 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: Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (Enterprise) is a provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products in North America. The Company's segments include NGL Pipelines & Services; Crude Oil Pipelines & Services; Natural Gas Pipelines & Services, and Petrochemical & Refined Products Services. The Company's midstream energy operations include natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation and storage; NGL transportation, fractionation, storage, and import and export terminals, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); crude oil gathering, transportation, storage and terminals; petrochemical and refined products transportation, storage, export and import terminals, and related services, and a marine transportation business that operates primarily on the United States inland and Intracoastal Waterway systems.

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 P/E RATIO: PASS P/E RATIO: FAIL P/E RATIO: PASS
EPS GROWTH: PASS EPS GROWTH: PASS EPS GROWTH: PASS EPS GROWTH: PASS
FUTURE EPS GROWTH: PASS FUTURE EPS GROWTH: FAIL FUTURE EPS GROWTH: PASS FUTURE EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH: PASS SALES GROWTH: PASS SALES GROWTH: PASS SALES GROWTH: FAIL
TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS TOTAL RETURN/PE: PASS
FREE CASH FLOW: PASS FREE CASH FLOW: PASS FREE CASH FLOW: PASS FREE CASH FLOW: FAIL
EPS PERSISTENCE: PASS EPS PERSISTENCE: PASS EPS PERSISTENCE: 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 319.67% vs. 179.05% 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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