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Zacks.com featured highlights: ShoreTel, MSG Networks, Exelon, FactSet Research Systems and Progress Software

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - February 03, 2017 - Stocks in this week's article include ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR - Free Report ), MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE: MSGN - Free Report ), Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC - Free Report ), FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS - Free Report ) and Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS - Free Report ).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

5 Liquid Stocks Potent Enough to Yield Solid Returns

Investors seeking steady returns may allocate their assets in stocks with favorable liquidity positions. Liquidity often indicates whether the company is financially strong or not. It is a measure of a company's capability of meeting its debt obligations by converting its assets into liquid cash and equivalents. However, one should be careful about investing in a stock with a high liquidity level as it may also indicate that the company is failing to utilize its assets efficiently. Therefore, in addition to the liquidity level, an investor may also consider the efficiency of the company before investing in the stock.

Key Liquidity Ratios

Liquidity ratios - current, quick and cash ratios - are considered as popular indicators of liquidity levels. Favorable liquidity ratios may help an investor to identify a company's capability of converting its assets to meet its debt obligations. While current ratio or working capital ratio seeks to measure a company's potential to meet its short- as well as long-term debt obligations, a company's quick ratio or acid-test ratio or quick assets ratio indicates its capability of meeting only its short-term debt obligations. This is why current ratio takes current assets relative to current liabilities into consideration, while quick ratio is a ratio of current assets excluding inventory to current liabilities.

On the other hand, the most conservative of the liquidity ratios, cash ratio aims to measure a company's potential to pay its current debt obligations by converting its most liquid assets. In order to achieve its objective, cash ratio only considers cash and cash equivalents relative to current liabilities. Though a higher value of these ratios may indicate that the company has a good financial position, significantly high values may signal that the company is inefficiently utilizing its assets. Hence, companies with liquidity ratios between 1 and 3 are considered to have favorable liquid levels.

Screening Parameters

Besides considering ideal ranges of liquidity ratios, we have added asset utilization to our screening parameters with an objective to screen the efficient stocks only. Asset utilization is a ratio of total sales over the past 12 months to the last four-quarter average of total assets. It is considered to be one of the popular means of identifying efficient companies.

In order to make our strategy more profitable, we have added our proprietary Growth Style Score to the screen with an objective to ensure that these liquid and efficient stocks have solid growth potential too.

Current Ratio, Quick Ratio and Cash Ratio between 1 and 3

(While liquidity ratios of greater than 1 are desirable, significantly high ratios may indicate inefficiency.)

Asset utilization greater than industry average

(Higher asset utilization than the industry average indicates a company's efficiency.)

Zacks Rank equal to or better than #2

(Only Strong Buy and Buy rated stocks can get through.)

Growth Style Score equal to or better than B

(Back-tested results show that stocks with a Growth Style Score of 'A' or 'B' when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 handily beat other stocks.)

Just these few criteria have narrowed down the universe of over 7,700stocks to only 21.

Here are five stocks from the list:

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR - Free Report ) is a leading provider of enterprise IP telephony solutions. The company has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 72.9%. It carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE: MSGN - Free Report ) is engaged in production and content development for sports and entertainment networks. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 12.1%.

Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC - Free Report ) is engaged principally in the production, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 9.9%.

FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS - Free Report ) supplies global economic and financial data to analysts, investment bankers and other financial professionals. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 1.9%.

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS - Free Report ) is a global supplier of application development, deployment and management technology, Internet and intranet. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Growth Style Score of 'A' and an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 4.3%.

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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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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.

About Screen of the Week

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.

This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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ShoreTel, Inc. (SHOR): Free Stock Analysis Report

MSG Networks Inc. (MSGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Exelon Corporation (EXC): Free Stock Analysis Report

FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Progress Software Corporation (PRGS): 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.


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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