+ Create a Screen Read the Guide Watch the Video

Screening Strategies

UK Data
66 strategies sorted by
John Templeton Bargain Screen

John Templeton believed that there were no simple formulae to finding good stocks, with over 100 factors that can be considered at times. However, Templeton did have four criteria which he considered particularly important: i) P/E ratio, ii) Operating profit margins, iii) Liquidating value and iv) Consistency of growth rates. Templeton also looked for any potential catalysts (new markets and products, potential M&A, as well as industry changes). more »

Value Investing
Annualised Return: 19.1%
Charles Kirkpatrick Bargain Screen

Kirkpatrick’s Bargain Screen combines the best triggers found in his testing of relative value, relative reported earnings growth. Kirkpatrick's testing of relative price-to-sales ratio percentile rankings indicated optimal performance in percentiles greater than 17 but not higher than the 42nd percentile. For relative strength, he found that setting the bar at the 90th percentile resulted in too many passing companies to manage in a portfolio. To reduce the number of passing companies to just 20, Kirkpatrick upped the requirement to only include companies in the 97th percentile or higher. Initial testing of the Bargain Model was promising but Kirkpatrick conceded that several more years of testing were needed before labeling it a successful stock selection methodology. You can read more here. more »

Bargain Stocks
Annualised Return: 19.0%
James O'Shaugnessy's Cornerstone Value

Cornerstone Value is a five criteria large-cap dividend yield-focused value screen outlined in James O'Shaughnessy’s seminal 1996 book What Works on Wall Street. His work showed that a large-caps stock portfolio with above average stock liquidity and cash flow per share which was ranked for high dividend yields performed best over the long term. Accordiing to his work, this value strategy outperformed the market producing an annual compound return of 15% from 1954 to 1996, compared to 8.3% for the S&P 500 Index (his Cornerstone Growth Strategy achieved 18% but with greater volatility). more »

Value Investing
Annualised Return: 18.5%
R&D Breakthroughs Screen

This screen seeks to identify research-led businesses that are investing significantly in future development in order to try to identify their potential future growth before the market does.  As Jack Hough notes, "When a company announces a breakthrough drug or a sudden advance in computer-chip technology, its shares often soar right away. Imagine being able to foresee which companies are due for such lucrative discoveries". Specifcially, the screen looks for R&D investment levels that are increasing and which equal at least 5% of annual sales and 5% of total assets. It also looks for Price to R&D ratios that are below 20x. more »

Quality Investing
Annualised Return: 17.7%
Large Cap Dividend Attraction Screen

This is a large-cap dividend focused screen, loosely based on the "Dividend Attraction" screen discussed by Kevin Matras in his useful book, "Finding Number 1 Stocks". It focuses on the added dividend security to be found amongst larger-cap stocks in a credit-constrained environment. In Matras' version, however, the primary filter is the Zacks Rank (a proprietary metric analysing analyst forecasts for i) Agreement, ii) Magnitude, iii) Upside Potential, Surprise). However, this version just uses the 3 month change in analyst forecasts instead. The other elements are: i) A market capitalisation above £1.5 bn, ii) Positive 5 Year Dividend growth, iii) Above Average Return on Equity, iv) Above Average EPS Growth and v) Price to Operating Cashflow. more »

Income Investing
Annualised Return: 17.7%
Earnings Surprise Screen

When companies report earnings significantly higher than analyst's earnings estimates the result is known as an 'earning's suprise'.  While earnings surprises often create spikes in the share price on the day of the announcement, they have also been observed to trigger longer term increases in the share price.  This effect is known as the  "Post Earnings Announcement Drift" and can last for several weeks or even months after the announcement date.  The effect is generally attributed to the fact that analysts are slow to revise their forecasts and the market does not fully react to the information about future growth conveyed by the earnings surprises.  The idea behind the strategy is to buy stocks that report earnings surprises and hold them over this time period. Positive surprises often happen at the beginning of a turnaround, or a new growth cycle where sales start to accelerate beyond the historical rates, “surprising” the analyst community.  You can read more here. more »

Momentum Investing
Annualised Return: 16.8%
Altman Z-Score Screen

This is a short-selling strategy based on the Altman Z-score which combines five weighted business ratios to estimate the likelihood of financial distress. The idea is that, if the Altman Z-Score is close to or below 3, it is wise to do some serious due diligence. The Z-score results usually have the following "Zones" of interpretation: any Z-Score above 2.99 is considered to be a safe company. Anything below 1.80 is in the distress zone, with a strong likelihood of the company going bankrupt within the next two years, while anything between 1.80 and 2.99 is in a "grey zone". In line with Altman's result, this work is based on last annual reported results and does not factor any interim updates. According to the research, the Altman score does experience false positives (i.e. classifying the firm as bankrupt when it does not go bankrupt) in approximately 15-20% of cases. more »

Short Selling
Annualised Return: 16.2%
Philip Fisher Growth Screen

This is a growth screen based on the approach of the late Phil Fisher, one of the great investors of all time and the author of the classic book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Fisher started his money management firm, Fisher & Co., in 1931 and over the next seven decades made tremendous amounts of money for his clients. Philip Fisher had a famous 15 point checklist for investing in stocks. Even though it includes numerous qualitative factors, it's possible to glean some key quantitative criteria too: Consistently strong profitability; Consistent sales growth; Growth exceeding industry norms; Little or no dividend payout; and Reasonable price compared to future growth prospects You can read more about Philip Fisher's approach here. more »

Growth Investing
Annualised Return: 16.1%
Geraldine Weiss Lite Dividend Screen

A blue-chip focused screen focused on buying blue-chip stocks whose dividend yields are near the high of their historical ranges and selling when the dividend yield declines to historic lows. Geraldine Weiss was the founding editor of Investment Quality Trends - one of the longest-lived investment newsletters.  According to a 2002 Forbes article,  she has seven criteria in total (but the last criteria comprises a further six "blue-chips only" conditions). A stock: 1. Must be undervalued as measured by its dividend yield on a historical basis. 2. Must be a growth stock that has raised dividends at a compound annual rate of at least 10% over the past 12 years. 3. Is selling for two times book value or less. 4. Has a P/E ratio of 20-to-1 or below. 5. Has a dividend payout ratio in the 50% area (or less) to ensure dividend safety with room for growth. 6. Debt is 50% or less of total capitalization. 7. Meets all six of our Blue Chip Criteria: dividend raised five times in the last 12 years, carries an A rating from S&P, has at least 5 million shares outstanding, at least 80 institutional investors hold the stock, 25 uninterrupted years of dividends and earnings improvements in seven of the last 12 years. While it’s difficult to replicate this screen exactly for the UK market, we’ve produced a Geraldine Weiss-lite version along similar lines.  more »

Income Investing
Annualised Return: 15.6%
Buffettology-esque Historical Growth Screen

This screen seeks to replicate the approach of Warren Buffett,   arguably the most successful living investor - based on the summary/interpretation by Mary Buffett (a former daughter-in-law) in the best-selling book, "The New Buffettology".  In Chapter 13, Mary Buffett outlines a number of screening-type criteria entitled "Warren's Checklist for Potential Investments: His Ten Points of Light", which we summarise out below. Not all of these points are quantitative in nature, admittedly, but there's certainly the beginnings of a good Buffett screen, and one with a slightly different emphasis to that of the Buffett-Hagstrom screen. This version uses the Historical Growth method to calculate the "expected return". more »

Quality Investing
Annualised Return: 15.0%
Dividend Dogs of the FTSE

A dividend screen which envisages that an investor annually selects for investment the ten FTSE-100 stocks whose dividend is the highest fraction of their price. This version uses the historic/actual yield.   Proponents of this strategy (or its US equivalent, the Dogs of the Dow) argue that blue chip companies do not alter their dividend to reflect trading conditions and, therefore, the dividend is a measure of the average worth of the company; the stock price, in contrast, fluctuates through the business cycle.  more »

Income Investing
Annualised Return: 15.0%
PYAD Screen

A combined value and income investing screen inspired by the writings of Stephen Bland on TMF (he also writes the Dividend Letter newsletter for MoneyWeek). It that starts by looking for: "P", i.e. a maximum Price to Earnings ratio of two-thirds that of the market (preferably much, much lower). It then looks for "Yield" preferably 50% above the market (although this is the most flexible criterion). "A" is for "Assets" as the screen looks for a Price to Book Value (P/BV) of under 1.  Finally, no Debt is the last criterion, preferably with stacks of net cash.  more »

Income Investing
Annualised Return: 14.7%
Greenblatt's Magic Formula

This screen implements the Magic Formula value investing strategy pioneered by hedge fund manager, Joel Greenblatt. It is based on buying 20-30 "good, cheap companies" defined as having the best available combined MFI ranking in terms of Earnings Yield and a Return on Capital.  Greenblatt argues that return on capital is the best determinant of whether a business is a good one or not (companies that can earn a high ROC over time generally have a special advantage that keeps competition from destroying it, such as a unique business model). Earnings yield is his metric for 'cheapness'. Greenblatt believes that stock prices of a firm can experience “wild” swings even as the value of the company stays relatively constant giving investors opportunities to buy low and sell high. more »

Quality Investing
Annualised Return: 14.4%
Trading below Cash Screen

This screen is loosely based on the "Cash Index" approach outlined by James Altucher in his book, "Trade Like Warren Buffett". He suggests a multi-pronged approach to analysing potential bargain/arbitrage stocks in times of market distress (post 2001 bubble / Iraq War). First of all, he suggests that it's important to recognise that these stocks are likely to be trading for less than cash for a reason, namely the mar­ket thinks they will eventually declare bankruptcy. Some of the possible risks include: i) Inaccurate reflection of "cash on hand" in their books (leases, severance packages, etc), ii) Business model destined to fail, iii) Management with no incentive to return value to shareholders. To minimise risk of buying a turkey, Altucher looks for eight factors: i) Market cap below cash, ii) Very low leverage, iii) Enough cash headroom to cover the current annual burn-rate, and iv) some stability in revenues and earnings. In addition to these easily-screenable criteria, he suggested looking out for more qualitative factors: v) A reasonable belief that the sell-off in the stock was partly irrational, vi) Favorable arbitrage analysis - , i) Insider buying and viii) Institutional ownership.  more »

Bargain Stocks
Annualised Return: 13.5%
Kenneth Fisher Price to Sales Screen

This screen implements the criteria laid out by Kenneth Fisher in his 1984 Dow Jones book, "Super Stocks".  The main criteria used by Fisher was the price-to-sales ratio (PSR). Fisher argued that stocks with PSRs below 1.5 are good value while the real winners are those with PSR values under 0.75.  The exception to this was “smokestack” industries which don’t generate a lot of excitement, for which the PSR target should be between 0.4 and 0.8. The other criteria he highlighted were: Profit margins - He wanted three-year average net margins to be at least 5% The debt/equity ratio - This should be no greater than 40 percent, and is not applied to financial firms) Earnings growth - The inflation-adjusted long-term EPS growth rate should be at least 15% per year).   An optional criterion (to be used in the technology and medical industries) was: Price to Research Ratio - Less than 5% was the best case, and those between 5 and 10% were still indicative of bargains. Less than 15 percent was borderline.   more »

Value Investing
Annualised Return: 13.2%
Buffettology-esque Sustainable Growth Screen

This screen seeks to replicate the approach of Warren Buffett,   arguably the most successful living investor - based on the summary/interpretation by Mary Buffett (a former daughter-in-law) in the best-selling book, "The New Buffettology".  In Chapter 13, Mary Buffett outlines a number of screening-type criteria entitled "Warren's Checklist for Potential Investments: His Ten Points of Light", which we summarise out below. Not all of these points are quantitative in nature, admittedly, but there's certainly the beginnings of a good Buffett screen, and one with a slightly different emphasis to that of the Buffett-Hagstrom screen. This version uses the Sustainable Growth method to calculate the "expected return". more »

Quality Investing
Annualised Return: 13.0%
Earnings Downgrade Momentum Screen

This is a strategy that aims to zero in on stocks where brokers are downgrading their earnings estimates.  In theory, this is a short-selling strategy! The idea is that brokers have a behavioural bias which anchors their new estimates too closely to their previous estimates thus making a high likelihood that earnings estimates will continue to fall in future. Continuing earnings estimate downgrades can be negative for stock prices.   However, research has shown that investing on the basis of broker recommendations does not generally work because of the bias in those recommendations. Research suggests that focusing on positive recent changes in broker recommendations may be more fruitful, particularly in combination with other signals, although this doesn't appear to be true for downgrades. You can read more here.  more »

Short Selling
Annualised Return: 10.8%
Peter Lynch Growth Screen

This is a 'fast growers' screen which looks for consistently profitable, relatively unknown, low-debt, reasonably priced stocks with high, but not excessive, growth. Mr. Lynch developed his investment philosophy at Fidelity, and gained his considerable fame managing Fidelity's Magellan Fund. His selection approach is strictly a bottom-up "buy what you know" one. He suggested focusing on companies familiar to the investor, applying fundamental analysis which emphasizes a thorough understanding of the company, its prospects, its competitive environment, and whether the stock can be purchased at a reasonable price.  It’s frankly impossible to come up with a screen that exactly replicates Lynch’s multi-faceted investing strategy. Nevertheless, the following approach seeks to emulate some of the key elements of his search for “fast growers”. You can read more here. more »

Growth Investing
Annualised Return: 9.8%
James Montier Trinity of Risk Screen

This is a screen for short sellers (avoiding stocks on these lists is advisable). James Montier suggested this screen based on the writings of Benjamin Graham. Graham proposed three primary sources of risk to your investment in shares or any other asset - Valuation Risk, Earnings Risk and Financial Risk - each of which should be seriously considered when purchasing a new position. This screen looks for a Graham and Dodd PE of greater than 16x (valuation risk), it must have current EPS greater than twice the ten year average (business/earnings risk), and it must also have an Altman Z score of less than 1.8 (balance sheet/financial risk). more »

Short Selling
Annualised Return: 7.8%
Beneish M-Score Screen

This is a short-selling strategy based on Professor Beneish's M-Score - this is a mathematical model that uses eight financial ratios from the company's financial statements to assess the degree to which the earnings may have been manipulated. It is similar to the Altman Z-Score, but it is focused on detecting earnings manipulation rather than bankruptcy. The research suggests that a score greater than -1.78 indicates a strong likelihood of a firm being a manipulator. Here is the link to the original Detection of Earnings Manipulation paper as well as the subsequent paper - The Relation between Accruals and Earnings Manipulation. The screen below highlights companies that have had a M-score above the threshold for two years in a row in order to reduce the likelihood that a given year's result is coincidental or a rogue data input error. more »

Short Selling
Annualised Return: 6.1%
66 strategies sorted by