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Validea John Neff Strategy Daily Upgrade Report - 3/5/2019

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 persisten t earnings growth that trade at a discount relative to their earnings growth and dividend yield.

CHEMICAL FINANCIAL CORPORATION ( CHFC ) is a mid-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: Chemical Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company operates in the commercial banking segment. The Company, through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, offers banking and fiduciary products and services. These products and services include business and personal checking accounts, savings and individual retirement accounts, time deposit instruments, electronically accessed banking products, residential and commercial real estate financing, commercial lending, consumer financing, access to insurance and investment products, corporate and personal wealth management services, and other banking services. As of December 31, 2016, the Corporation and Chemical Bank served these markets through 249 banking offices. In addition to the banking offices, Chemical Bank operated eight loan production offices and over 272 automated teller machines, both on- and off-bank premises, as of December 31, 2016. Its loan portfolio includes commercial and real estate construction.

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

LAKELAND FINANCIAL CORPORATION ( LKFN ) 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: Lakeland Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Lake City Bank (the Bank), provides an array of products and services throughout its Northern and Central Indiana markets. It offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and wealth management, brokerage, investment and treasury management commercial services. It serves a range of industries, including commercial real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, retail, wholesale, finance and insurance, accommodation and food services, and healthcare. The Bank's activities cover all phases of commercial banking, including deposit products, commercial and consumer lending, retail and merchant credit card services, corporate treasury management services, and wealth advisory, trust and brokerage services. It provides financial services through the Bank, with approximately 50 branch offices in 15 counties in Northern and Central Indiana.

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

SLM CORP ( SLM ) is a mid-cap value stock in the Consumer Financial Services 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: SLM Corporation is a holding company. The Company's primary business is to originate and service loans it makes to students and their families to finance the cost of their education. The Company is a saving, planning and paying for college company. It is engaged in originating and servicing Private Education Loans it makes to students and their families. It uses Private Education Loans to mean education loans to students or their families that are not made, insured or guaranteed by any state or federal government. It also operates Upromise, Inc., a consumer savings network that provides financial rewards on everyday purchases to help families save for college. Its Private Education Loans that it owns or services are originated and funded by its subsidiary, Sallie Mae Bank (the Bank). Its services include resources dedicated to assist customers with needs and escalated inquiries. It provides access to a free online scholarship database, which includes information about scholarships.

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

ATHENE HOLDING LTD ( ATH ) is a mid-cap value stock in the Insurance (Life) industry. The rating according to our strategy based on John Neff changed from 40% 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: Athene Holding Ltd is a retirement services company. The Company issues, reinsures and acquires retirement savings products across the United States and the District of Columbia. It operates through the Retirement Services segment. Retirement Services is comprised of its United States and Bermuda operations, which issue and reinsure retirement savings products and institutional products. Retirement Services has retail operations, which provide annuity retirement solutions to its policyholders. Retirement Services segment also has reinsurance operations, which reinsure multi-year guaranteed annuities, fixed indexed annuities, traditional one-year guarantee fixed deferred annuities, immediate annuities and institutional products from its reinsurance partners. In addition, its institutional operations, including funding agreements and pension risk transfer (PRT) obligations, are included in its Retirement Services segment. Its products include individual annuities and group annuities.

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: 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 134.87% vs. 151.95% 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.


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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