Markets

Zacks.com featured highlights: Air Lease, Just Energy Group, Gibraltar Industries, Apogee Enterprises and Stamps.com

A generic image of a stock chart
Credit: Shutterstock photo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - July 27, 2016 - Stocks in this week's article include: Air Lease Corporation ( AL ), Just Energy Group Inc. ( JE ), Gibraltar Industries Inc. ( ROCK ), Apogee Enterprises Inc. ( APOG ) and Stamps.com Inc ( STMP ).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

5 Stocks with Solid Net Margins for Your Portfolio

Profitability is the ultimate yardstick of a company's success. And net profit margin is the most effective way to measure it.

Net Profit Margin = Net profit / Sales * 100.

Net profit margin is the percentage by which a company's total sales exceed or fall short of the sum of all its expenses, including taxes.

In fact, net profit margin can turn out to be a powerful tool to measure how efficiently a company is running its business and controlling its costs. Moreover, a higher net profit margin as compared to peers lends a competitive advantage.

What Net Profit Margin Can Do?

Net profit margin helps investors to understand a company's business model in terms of pricing policy, cost structure and manufacturing efficiency. Hence, a healthy net profit margin is preferred by all kinds of investors.

However, net profit margin has a number of flaws that limit its scope as an effective analytical tool. Its calculation widely varies from industry to industry. Difference in accounting treatment of various items - especially non-cash expenses like depreciation and stock-based compensation - makes it a difficult metric for the purpose of comparison.

Further, for companies preferring to grow with debt, instead of equity funding, higher interest expense usually drags down the net profit. In such cases, it is not an effective tool to analyze the company's performance.

The Winning Strategy

Healthy net profit margin and solid EPS growth are two of the most sought after ingredients in a business model.

Apart from these two metrics, we have added a few other criteria to ensure maximum possible return from this strategy.

Screening Parameters

Net Margin 12 months - Most Recent (%) greater than equal to 0 : High net profit margin indicates solid profitability.

Percentage Change in EPS F(0)/(F-1) greater than equal to 0 : It indicates earnings growth.

Average Broker Rating (1-5) equal to 1 : A rating of #1 indicates brokers' extreme bullishness on the growth prospects of the stock.

Zacks Rank equal to 1 : Only Strong Buy stocks are allowed. In good markets or bad, stocks with a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) continue to outperform.

VGM Score of 'A' or 'B': Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of 'A' or 'B' when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy) offer the best upside potential.

Here are five of the eight stocks that qualified the screen:

Los Angeles, CA-based Air Lease Corporation ( AL ) is an aircraft leasing company principally engaged in purchasing commercial aircraft and leasing to airlines around the world. The stock has a VGM score of 'A.' Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 increased by a penny to $3.38 over the last 60 days.

Toronto-based Just Energy Group Inc. ( JE ) is engaged in the sale of natural gas and/or electricity to residential and commercial customers under long-term fixed-price and price-protected contracts. The stock has a VGM score of 'A.' Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 increased by three cents to 31 cents per share over the last 60 days.

Gibraltar Industries Inc. ( ROCK ) manufactures and distributes products to the industrial and buildings market. The company has its headquarters at Buffalo, NY. The stock has a VGM score of 'B.' Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 has remained steady at $1.38 per share over the last 60 days.

Minnesota-based Apogee Enterprises Inc. ( APOG ) is a leader in technologies for the design and development of value-added glass products, services, and systems. The stock has a VGM score of 'B.' Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 increased by a dime to $2.83 over the last 60 days.

El Segundo, CA-based Stamps.com Inc ( STMP ) provides Internet-based services for mailing or shipping letters, packages or parcels anywhere in the U.S. The stock has a VGM score of 'B.' Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 has remained steady at $4.65 per share over the last 60 days.

Get the rest of the stocks on the list and start putting this and other ideas to the test. It can all be done with the Research Wizard stock picking and back testing software.

The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today .

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.

Zacks Restaurant Recommendations: Inaddition to dining at these special places, you can feast on their stock shares. A Zacks Special Report spotlights 5 recent IPOs to watch plus 2 stocks that offer immediate promise in a booming sector. Download it free »

Sign up now for your free trial today and start picking better stocks immediately. And with the backtesting feature, you can test your ideas to see how you can improve your trading in both up markets and down markets. Don't wait for the market to get better before you decide to do better. Start learning how to be a better trader today: https://at.zacks.com/?id=111

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

Zacks.com created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine. But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use. Each week, Zacks Profit from the Pros free email newsletter shares a new screening strategy. Learn more about it here https://at.zacks.com/?id=112

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Click here for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros .

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Contact: Jim Giaquinto

Company: Zacks.com

Phone: 312-265-9268

Email: pr@zacks.com

Visit: https://www.zacks.com/performance

Zacks.com provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. www.zacks.com/disclaimer .

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.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

AIR LEASE CORP (AL): Free Stock Analysis Report

JUST ENERGY GRP (JE): Free Stock Analysis Report

APOGEE ENTRPRS (APOG): Free Stock Analysis Report

GIBRALTAR INDUS (ROCK): Free Stock Analysis Report

STAMPS.COM INC (STMP): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com 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.

In This Story

APOG JE STMP ROCK AL

Other Topics

Stocks