5 Top Stocks to Make the Most of DuPont Analysis

Return on equity (ROE) is one of the most favored metrics of investors. It is a profitability ratio that measures earnings generated by a company from its equity. Investors can follow the ROE trend in companies and compare this to historical or industry benchmarks to pick a winning stock.

However, stepping beyond the basic ROE and analyzing it at an advanced level could lead to even better returns. Here is where the DuPont analysis comes into play. It is an analytical method that examines three major elements — operating management, management of assets and capital structure — related to the financial condition of a company. Below we show how DuPont breaks down ROE into its different components:

ROE = Net Income/Equity

Net Income / Equity = (Net Income / Sales) * (Sales / Assets) * (Assets / Equity)

ROE = Profit Margin * Asset Turnover Ratio * Equity Multiplier

The screener yields winning stocks like UFP Industries UFPI, Boise Cascade BCC, Veritiv VRTV, Group 1 Automotive GPI and W.W. Grainger GWW.

Why Use DuPont?

Although one can’t play down the importance of normal ROE calculation, the fact remains that it doesn’t always provide a complete picture. The DuPont analysis, on the other hand, allows investors to assess the elements that play a dominant role in any change in ROE. It can help investors segregate companies having higher margins from those with high turnover. For example, high-end fashion brands generally survive on high margins as compared with retail goods, which rely on higher turnover.

In fact, it also sheds light on the company’s leverage status, which can go a long way in selecting stocks poised for gains. A lofty ROE could be due to the overuse of debt. Thus, the strength of a company can be misleading if it has a high debt load.

So, an investor confined solely to an ROE perspective may be confused if he or she has to judge between two stocks of equal ratio. This is where DuPont analysis wins over and spots the better stock.

Investors can simply do this analysis by taking a look at the company’s financials.However, looking at the financial statements of each company separately can be a tedious task. Screening tools like Zacks Research Wizard can come to your rescue and help you shortlist the stocks that look impressive with a DuPont analysis.

Screening Parameters

Profit Margin more than or equal to 3: As the name suggests, it is a measure of how profitably the business is running. Generally, it is the key contributor to ROE.

Asset Turnover Ratio more than or equal to 2: It allows an investor to assess management’s efficiency in using assets to drive sales.

Equity Multiplier between 1 and 3: It’s an indication of how much debt the company uses to finance its assets.

Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Stocks having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) generally perform better than their peers in all types of market environments.

Current Price more than $5: This screens out the low priced stocks. However, when looking for lower-priced stocks, this criterion can be removed.

Here are five out of eight stocks that made it through the screen:

UFP Industries: The Zacks Rank #2 company supplies wood, wood composite and other products in the retail, industrial, and construction market.

The average earnings surprise of UFPI for the past four quarters is 22.73%.

Boise Cascade: The company operates as a wood products manufacturer and building materials distributor. It sports a Zacks Rank #1.

The average earnings surprise of BCC for the past four quarters is 18.99%.

Veritiv: The Zacks Rank #2 company offers business-to-business distribution solutions in North America.

The average earnings surprise of VRTV for the past four quarters is 14.34%.

Group 1 Automotive: The Zacks Rank #2 company is one of the leading automotive retailers in the world, with operations primarily located in the United States and the UK.

The average earnings surprise of GPI for the past four quarters is 7.96%.

W.W. Grainger: This Zacks Rank #2 company is a broad-line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating products and services.

The average earnings surprise of GWW for the past four quarters is 8.29%.

UFP Industries, Inc. (UFPI): Free Stock Analysis Report

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW): Free Stock Analysis Report

Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI): Free Stock Analysis Report

Boise Cascade, L.L.C. (BCC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Veritiv Corporation (VRTV): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

This article originally appeared on Zacks

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