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Number Cruncher

Screens that break down the numbers from our investment reporters

Entry archive:

Dividend stock all-stars among U.S.-listed large caps

PETER ASHTON

What are we looking for?

Large cap U.S.-listed stocks with good dividend yields and strong dividend track records.

The swoon in the U.S. markets driven by the plunging price of oil has driven up prices of U.S. Treasuries and has many market watchers speculating on a delay in the Federal Reserve’s expected time frame to begin raising interest rates. A continued low interest rate environment would be good news for dividend paying stocks whose yields would look more attractive compared to their interest paying counterparts.

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Dividend stocks with the strength to grow their payouts

TIM SHUFELT

What are we looking for?

Dividend stocks with the capacity to grow their payments.

A string of promising U.S. economic results led to heightened speculation about the timing for rate hikes, but Janet Yellen’s promise to be patient reassured markets on Wednesday.

Given persistent U.S. unemployment and low inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair said the central bank would take a measured and gradual approach to normalizing monetary policy.

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Two transportation picks that outpace rivals

MICHAEL BOWMAN

What are we looking for?

According to the American Trucking Association, 80 per cent of North American communities receive their goods exclusively by truck. Trucks ship 70 per cent of the total North American tonnage, and collect 83 per cent of shipping revenues. Since the drop in crude oil prices means lower costs for the industry, my colleague Rob Belanger and I thought we would take a drive through the trucking sector.

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Ten oil patch stocks that can weather the downdraft

BRIAN PINCHUK

What are we looking for?

At Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management, we are constantly on the hunt for value. Patient investors, like shoppers holding out for Boxing Day, can sometimes find incredible bargains by waiting for a sale on quality companies that have fallen out of favour.

Amid evidence of a supply imbalance in the oil industry, in the wake of slowing global demand and increased production from the fracking boom, oil prices have taken it on the chin and are down some 40 per cent since June to less than $60 (U.S.) a barrel. The slump in oil prices has been exacerbated by OPEC’s recent move not to curb production, fuelling worries that many companies in our largest export industry may not be able to produce economically. According to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, existing projects require a price of around $85 a barrel to earn a reasonable return.

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Trend shows a bullish pattern for Canadian telecom stocks

MONICA RIZK AND RON MEISELS

What are we looking at?

Canadian and U.S. telecom stocks.

The screen

We limited our pool to the S&P/TSX 60 index and the S&P 100 index.

To find the most promising, we looked at each stock’s 40-week moving average (40wMA). This is the average closing price for the stock over a period of 40 weeks. Charting the moving average week by week gives us a sense of investors’ behaviour. Are they growing more (or less) enthusiastic about the company’s outlook and are they more (or less) likely to purchase the stock? Generally speaking, stocks that trade above their rising 40wMAs are the best candidates for investments; they are the ones that show a bullish pattern. We identified the status of each stocks average (rising, falling or flat) in the adjoining table.

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Fifteen dividend stocks for turbulent times

CRAIG MCGEE

What are we looking for?

With oil prices sliding and increasing concern about a weakening economy, I wanted to highlight Canadian dividend-paying stocks with increasing expectations and reasonable payout ratios.

Specifically, I screened the CPMS Canadian database for the top 15 stocks from the S&P/TSX composite index with the following metrics:

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Eleven pharma stocks with healthy profitability, decent dividends

MICHAEL BOWMAN

What are we looking for?

The pharmaceutical industry is historically a defensive sector, and increasing demands from an aging population should keep sales climbing. Add in decent dividends and U.S. health-care reform and this is a business you may want to own.

The screen

My colleague Rob Belanger and I started with global pharmaceutical companies larger than $50-billion (U.S.) in market capitalization and sorted them from the largest to the smallest.

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Fifteen airline stocks to keep on your radar

MICHAEL CLOHERTY

What are we looking for?

Given the positive outlook from analysts, a healthier industry and a downward slide in oil prices – we decided to search for the best, economically strong airlines.

The screen

We searched for airline stocks in North America with a minimum market cap of $500-million and looked at the following metrics:

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Six North American railway stocks with strong growth prospects

PETER ASHTON

What are we looking for?

North American railway stocks with compelling valuations and growth prospects.

Last week’s collapse in the price of oil hit many stock market sectors hard, including transportation stocks such as railways. Although diesel fuel is a factor in railways’ operating costs, investors are concerned that declining oil shipments by rail may hit future revenue. Last week’s selloff may have created compelling valuation levels, especially in light of an improving North American economy in 2015.

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These top 20 stocks shine at growing their assets

CRAIG McGEE

What are we looking for?

Canadian stocks with higher growth rates as a result of reinvestment of earnings.

Specifically, I looked at the 20 stocks currently held in the CPMS Canadian Asset Growth model portfolio. The strategy emphasizes stocks with the best combination of the following metrics:

– Forward and trailing reinvestment rates (earnings less dividend payouts as a percentage of the latest reported book value);

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The strongest consumer stocks to consider investing in

MICHAEL BOWMAN

What are we looking for?

Consumer discretionary is the sector often expected to win from falling gasoline prices as consumers should have more money to spend on non-essential items. According to economists at Barclays, a 20-per-cent decline in oil prices results in $70-billion (U.S.) in consumer savings. Today my colleague Rob Belanger and I are looking at the S&P 500 consumer discretionary index.

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A low-loonie era: Keep these 21 stocks on your radar

TIM SHUFELT

What are we looking for?

Stocks positioned well for a low-loonie era.

The recent plunge in oil prices has been fully reflected in the value of the Canadian dollar, which last month fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since 2009.

As a currency linked to commodity prices, the oil selloff dragged down the value of the loonie to a recent low of $87.21 (U.S.) from $94.15 in July. The Canadian currency traded in excess of par as recently as February of last year.

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Three oversold miners that may rally

MONICA RIZK AND RON MEISELS

What are we looking at?

Canadian and U.S. materials stocks.

The screen

We limited our pool to the S&P/TSX 60 Index and the S&P 100 Index.

To find the most promising, we looked at each stock’s 40-week moving average (40wMA). This is the average closing price for the stock over a period of 40 weeks. Charting the moving average week by week gives us a sense of investors’ behaviour: Are they growing more (or less) enthusiastic about the company’s outlook and are they more (or less) likely to purchase the stock? Generally speaking, stocks that trade above their rising 40wMAs are the best candidates for investments; they are the ones that show a bullish pattern. We identified the status of each stocks average (rising, falling or flat) in the adjoining table.

More »

Twenty U.S. stocks with both earnings and price momentum

CRAIG MCGEE

What are we looking for?

This week, as a followup to last week’s Canadian screen, we highlight U.S. stocks with strong price and earnings momentum.

The screen

Specifically, I scanned the CPMS U.S. database for the 20 stocks with the best combination of the following metrics:

– Percentage change from stock’s 12-month high (where stocks closer to their 12-month high are favoured);

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Twenty fast-food stocks to whet investor appetites

MICHAEL BOWMAN

What are we looking for?

From rising food costs, economic recessions and market saturation to the changing perceptions about health, fast food franchises have been feeling some heat. Modern society is on the go, and there is plenty of demand for a quick bite at all times of the day. My colleague Rob Belanger and I thought we would take a look at the QSR (quick service restaurants) sector.

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Top 20 U.S. health care stocks screened for growth, value

MICHAEL CLOHERTY

Michael Cloherty is senior account manager for StockPointer at Inovestor Inc.

What are we looking for?

Given recent headlines with takeover and merger activity in the health-care sector, investors could soon find themselves looking to replace certain holdings, so we decided to look for economically strong health care stocks.

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Where the smart money is investing

PETER ASHTON

Peter Ashton is vice-president of retail and self-directed investing at Recognia Inc.

What are we looking for?

Stocks loved by insiders and institutional investors.

With stocks at or near their all-time highs, finding stocks poised for future price and earnings growth becomes a difficult task.

Who would be better poised to judge the future growth prospects of a company than corporate insiders, such as officers and directors? They have the most detailed understanding of the company’s business and its growth prospects. Similarly, institutional investors with large research teams are deemed to have a better than average understanding of a company’s growth trajectory.

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A portfolio of 20 smaller caps with earnings momentum

CRAIG McGEE

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What are we looking for?

Canadian small- and mid-cap stocks with strong earnings and price momentum.

Specifically, I scanned the CPMS Canadian database for the 20 stocks with the best combination of the following metrics:

– Return on equity (ROE), trailing four quarters;

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How Canada's major REITs stack up

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients.

What are we looking for?

Value in Canada’s REIT sector.

A recent study by Fidelity showed that adding real estate investment trusts to a traditional stock and bond portfolio increased the Sharpe ratio, a metric which indicates whether a portfolio’s return is due to smart investment decisions or simply the result of excess risk.

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How to profit from climbing U.S. wages

SCOTT BARLOW

The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to a level where, at long last, significant wage growth is the most likely scenario in the months ahead. The accompanying chart shows that employment and wages have reached an inflection point that has historically indicated sharply stronger pricing power for labour.

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