LPX featured highlights include: Louisiana-Pacific, ManpowerGroup, Kulicke and Soffa, Universal Health and DMC

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - March 6, 2018 - Stocks in this week's article Louisiana-Pacific Corporation LPX , ManpowerGroup MAN , Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. KLIC, Universal Health Services UHS and DMC Global BOOM .

5 Low-Leverage Stocks to Buy as Fed Targets 4 Rate Hikes in 2018

"Every crisis has its own set of villains - but all require a similar ingredient to create a true crisis: too much leverage." - Andrew Ross Sorkin

Financial leverage is a popular investment strategy that refers to the amount of debt that a company uses to finance its operations. Although debt brings with it the burden of interest payment, it is preferred to equity financing because of its cheap availability. Another perk of debt financing is that the interest on debt is tax deductible.

Interestingly, the United States - the world's richest economy - is the biggest borrower as well. In fact, according to the FY19 Federal Budget, at the end of FY18, gross U.S. federal government debt is estimated to be $21.09 trillion, more than double the debt load in the last decade.

Yet, debt is something that everyone likes to avoid. This is because debt financing means borrowing against future earnings, which simply means that instead of using all future profits to grow the business one has to allocate a portion for debt repayments.

Nevertheless, this should not dissuade one from investing in U.S. stocks. After all, in spite of such high debt levels, the United States remains the largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, representing a quarter share of the global economy per the latest World Bank figures

The problem arises when debt a company bears becomes exorbitant. In particular, companies with high debt loads are more vulnerable during economic downturns and can even go bankrupt, especially in periods of high interest rate.

With the Federal Reserve under new chief Jerome Powell targeting four interest rate hikes this year, more than previously expected hikes of three, the market scenario does not seem to be much in favor of companies opting for debt financing.

Considering this, the need of the hour is to choose stocks prudently, avoiding those that carry high debt loads. So the crux of a safe investment lies in identifying low leverage stocks.

This is where the significance of financial leverage ratio comes into play. This ratio measures the extent of financial leverage a company bears. Several leverage ratios have been developed for this purpose, with debt-to-equity ratio being the most popular.

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Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. (KLIC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LPX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS): Free Stock Analysis Report

DMC Global Inc. (BOOM): Free Stock Analysis Report

ManpowerGroup (MAN): 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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