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Safeguard Your Portfolio by Abandoning These 4 Toxic Stocks

Zacks Equity Research

Accurate identification of overpriced stocks and correctly priced stocks is the key to investing success. However, it is a tough task to differentiate between a fairly priced stock and an overhyped stock in a complicated market place. Investors who can spot exorbitantly priced toxic stocks and abandon them at the right time are likely to maximize portfolio returns.

Toxic stocks are usually characterized by a high debt burden and are vulnerable to external shocks. Also, there might be some serious weakness latent in the company. The unjustifiably high price of toxic stocks does not last long as the current price of these stocks exceeds their intrinsic values. Owning such stocks for a prolonged period could result in massive erosion of wealth.

However, if you can figure out the toxic stocks precisely, you may gain by resorting to an investing strategy called short selling, which involves selling a stock first and then purchasing it when its price falls. While short selling excels in bear markets, it typically loses money in bull markets.

So, just like picking stocks with huge growth potential, figuring out toxic stocks and abandoning them at the right time is the key to shield your portfolio from big losses or make profits by short selling them.

Screening Criteria

Here is a winning strategy that will help you identify overpriced toxic stocks:

Most recent Debt/Equity Ratio greater than the median industry average: High debt/equity ratio implies high leverage. High leverage indicates a huge level of repayment that the company has to make in connection with the debt amount.

P/E using 12-month forward EPS estimate greater than 50: A very high forward P/E implies that a stock is overvalued.

% Change in F (1) and F (2) Estimate (12 Weeks) less than 0: Negative EPS estimate revision for the current and next fiscal year during the past 12 weeks points to analysts’ pessimism.

Zacks Rank more than or equal to #3 (Hold): We have not considered the Buy-rated stocks that generally outperform the market. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Here are four of the 28 stocks that made it through the screen:

Novanta, Inc. MYGN: Headquartered in Massachusetts, Novanta manufactures and sells precision photonic and motion control components to original equipment manufacturers in the medical equipment and advanced industrial technology markets. Over the past seven days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings per share has declined by 53 cents. Currently, the firm carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. SITE: The Georgia-based firm is a wholesale distributor of landscape supplies, primarily in the United States. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings per share has declined by 95 cents. Currently, the firm carries a Zacks Rank #5.

Penn National Gaming, Inc. PENN: Penn National is a leading, multi-jurisdictional owner, and manager of gaming and racing facilities with video gaming terminal operations. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings per share has declined by 78 cents. Currently, the firm carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Casella Waste Systems CWST: This Vermont-based provider of vertically integrated solid waste services currently carries a Zacks Rank #3. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings per share has declined by 34 cents.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for a 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting software. You can also create your own strategies and test them first before making investments.

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.

DisclosureOfficers, 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 athttps://www.zacks.com/performance


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Myriad Genetics, Inc. (MYGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (CWST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. (SITE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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