Checking up on the financial health of Austal
In investing, knowing which numbers you should pay attention to and which you should discard is half the battle. Honing in on the measures that tell us what’s really going on can save us a lot of time and pain. It also allows us to move faster than the competition.
At Stockopedia, we strive to identify these key measures. One of the most useful we have found so far is Piotroski’s F-Score - and the F-Score has good news for shareholders of mid cap super stock Austal (ASX:ASB), which operates in the Industrials sector.
Why the Piotroski F-Score matters
Followers of renowned accounting professor Joseph Piotroski are well aware of the checklist that made him famous in 2002. Piotroski is behind the F-Score: a simple indicator to highlight neglected stocks with improving prospects.
What's good about the F-Score is that it is essentially an entire quality and fundamental momentum screen in a single number, succinctly summing up the financial health trend of a company. Applying it as a filter on top of almost any strategy can help to increase returns and reduce risk.
Austal's F-Score: what does it mean?
Austal scores 8 out of a possible 9. In his landmark academic paper "Value Investing: The Use of Historical Financial Statement Information to Separate Winners from Losers", Piotroksi showed that by investing in companies scoring 8 or 9 by these measures over a 20-year test period through to 1996, investor returns could be increased by an astounding 7.5% each year.
What does this mean for potential investors?
Austal has an F-Score that suggests it could be a promising investment candidate worthy of further research - but it's only a first step. Higher F-Score stocks can still have weaknesses and may trade at premium prices compared to other stocks. We've identified some areas of concern with Austal that you can find out about here.
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