Stock Screening (Part One) - setting up a basic value screen

Sunday, Feb 10 2013 by

I've only recently started playing with Stockopedia's powerful stock screening functionality, and I thought this would make a good subject area for a short series of articles.

For the last 15 years I have used stock screening systems on other websites to trawl for investment ideas, usually doing something fairly basic, such as looking for shares with a low PER, a decent dividend yield, and net cash.

It's quick and easy to do that, so for anyone not familiar with the process (or maybe familiar, but not used to Stockopedia), I will demonstrate it in this first article, using screen grabs from Stockopedia's screening system.


Step 1: The Screening Centre



This is Stockopedia's home page.

Click where shown.









Step 2: Launch the Screener



Click where shown to create a new Stock Screen (i.e. a stock filter)









Step 3 - Build your own Screen


Create your Screen!

In this Screen I have chosen the following rules to identify value small cap shares:

PER < 10
Dividend Yield  > 4%
Net Debt < 0 (i.e. has net cash)
Market Cap between £5m-300m 

The trick is to start simple, and take it step by step. A bit of perseverence, with trial & error, pays off.


Then just hit the blue button to see the results.



Step 4: The Results

So here are the results (you might need to increase the zoom on your browser to view clearly):


The results above have given us a shortlist of 12 qualifying shares, which means we can focus our energies on this small number of shares to research, instead of having to research every share in the market.

You can also easily customise how the results are presented, note the different tabs above.


Step 5 - Initial Review

Work through each share in turn, doing a quick initial review to further weed out unattractive shares. Bear in mind that value…

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As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested.

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Quercus Publishing plc is book publisher for retail and digital distribution, contract and co-edition sales, and rights sales. The Company publishes fiction, children’s, non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction books. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Swedish writing duo Roslund and Hellstrom’s Three Seconds launched in the United States market, through the joint venture imprint Silver Oak. The books published by the Company include Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away; The Dinosaur Feather; The Black House; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; The King’s Speech; Prague Fatal; A Cold Season; Mountain High; Mountain High Until Thy Wrath be Past; Dea Men Risen; The Rose Petal Beach; Island of Wings; Lord of Misrule, and Unhooking the Moon, among others. The Company’s subsidiaries include Quercus Editions Limited, which is a publishing company, and Quercus Books Limited, which is dormant. During 2011, the Company’s E-book sales generated 11% of revenue. more »

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Densitron Technologies plc is engaged in the design, development and delivery of electronic displays and related electronics and software. The Company’s products include Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED), Thin-Film Transistor (TFT), Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Module and LCD Glass, Touchscreen Displays and E-Paper or E-Ink Displays. The Company is also a designer and manufacturer of display technology. It operates in 35 countries worldwide and has local presence in the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, France, Finland and Germany along with branch offices in India and the Netherlands. The Company’s geographical segments include Europe (the United Kingdom, France, Nordic and Germany), the United States and Asia (Japan and Taiwan). The Company’s subsidiaries include Densitron Europe Limited, Densitron Corporation of Japan, Densitron Corporation, Densitron France, Densitron Nordic Oy, Densitron Deutschland GmbH, Densitron Display Taiwan Limited and Densitron Land Ltd. more »

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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a global publisher. The Company is involved in the publication of books and other related services. The Company operates through four publishing divisions: Adult, Children's & Educational, Academic & Professional, and Information. These divisions derive their revenue from book publishing, sale of publishing and distribution rights, management and other publishing services. It specializes in the humanities and social sciences, and publishes over 1,000 books and digital services each year. The Company's digital products include Berg Fashion Library, Bloomsbury Collections, Bloomsbury Fashion Central, Churchill Archive and Drama Online. The Company's subsidiaries include A & C Black Limited, Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, Bloomsbury Information Limited, Bloomsbury Professional Limited, Bloomsbury Australia PTY Limited, The Continuum International Publishing Group Limited and Osprey Publishing Limited, among others. more »

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  Is Quercus Publishing fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

13 Comments on this Article show/hide all

peterg 10th Feb '13 1 of 13

Great article, Paul. Thanks


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cadmunkey 10th Feb '13 2 of 13

Good stuff Paul, looking forward to the next part. (Bloomsbury does seem worth looking at!)

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Paul Scott 10th Feb '13 3 of 13

In reply to cadmunkey, post #2

Cheers, glad you liked it. I'll probably do Part 2 next weekend, as it's a good time to concentrate without the distraction of the markets being open!

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rbf 11th Feb '13 4 of 13

Hi Paul

A week or so ago you mentioned AGL and said you would do a more detailed follow-up after meeting management. Perhaps I missed it...or perhaps it is still to come? But would certainly be interested in your thoughts on this company


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Ramridge 11th Feb '13 5 of 13

Hi Paul. About Chinese shares. I share your view about their opaque accounting. I bought a few Camkids shares but not happy about their gyrations since launch. You have tipped me into selling them asap. Shame to lose the growth potential though. Regards. Ram

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Paul Scott 11th Feb '13 6 of 13

In reply to rbf, post #4

Hi rbf,

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the planned lunch meeting with Angle (LON:AGL), as the trains from Brighton/Hove to London were being cancelled/long delays that day, due to a broken down train at Haywards Heath (which apparently brings the entire line to a standstill).
As I normally finish these reports about 10am, it's a tight timescale for me to get to London for 12:30 meetings, so when trains are late not possible.

Sorry about that.

Regards, Paul.

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Paul Scott 11th Feb '13 7 of 13

In reply to Ramridge, post #5

The trouble with Chinese companies is that the accounting is worse than opaque, it's semi-fictitious. Debtors & creditors are not arms length transactions, and they only settle them very long term, with potentially vast bad debts hidden throughout the economy in many companies and Banks balance sheets, but never crystallised.

Some commentators believe that Chinese annual GDP growth of 8% is really nearer 3-5% if they were to properly account for bad debts along the way. So at some point there will the most gigantic implosion of the Chinese financial system - may not happen for years, or even decades, but it's inevitable. Also, isn't it odd how so many of these Chinese companies with apparently vast cash balances & huge balance sheets, don't pay dividends? Funny that!!

Also, why would a Chinese company list its shares on AIM in the UK? Perhaps because it's a virtually unregulated market, where there are no consequences for ripping off investors? That point might apply to many (or even most?!) foreign companies listed on AIM, in my opinion.

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davidallen77 11th Feb '13 8 of 13

Ramridge i got Camkids on my watchlist, looks interesting, if it pays out a divi as Paul pointed out it would interest me further. Rol came out on my watchlist a few weeks ago.

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rbf 11th Feb '13 9 of 13

Thanks for your response on AGL Paul - It is a shame that you missed the lunch since AGL certainly seems an interesting high risk high reward proposition. I currently have a small positon but am struggling to convince myself to increase this......I think you called it an intriguing company which is....But trying to make the case for AGL as an investment rather than a gamble is a difficult one for me, hence I would have liked to hear your furthe thoughts after meeting the management!!!! Maybe anothe opportunity will arise?

Cheers Richard

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Ramridge 11th Feb '13 10 of 13

In reply to davidallen77, post #8

Here is part of what IC had to say about Camkids float in December:
"... The company intends to pay dividends at 20 per cent of earnings, which would equate to a 5 per cent yield in 2013. ..."
This was part of the attraction when I bought a small holding. The bottom line is, do we trust the company, per Paul's remarks. If not, then cut and run, and that is what I will do shortly.

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fek47 12th Jun '13 11 of 13


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fek47 12th Jun '13 12 of 13

In reply to Paul Scott, post #3

Hi Paul,

You shortlisted Motivcom (LON:MCM) on this list when you ran a screen back in February. It has cropped up on a screen that I've been honing over the past couple of weeks - just wondering if you ever formed a view on the company?

I wondered if you might perhaps have been put off by the extremely small free float....

thanks, Francis

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Mark Midmore 16th Jun '13 13 of 13

Hi, Motivcom has just come on to my 'radar' I just wondered whether you looked at it more closely?

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About Paul Scott

Paul Scott

I trained as an accountant with a Top 5 firm, but that was so boring that I spent too much time in the 1990s being a disco bunny, and busting moves on the dancefloor, and chilling out with mates back at either my house or theirs, and having a lot of fun!Then spent 8 years as FD for a ladieswear retail chain called "Pilot", leaving on great terms in 2002 - having been a key player in growing the business 10 fold. If the truth be told, I partied pretty hard at the weekends too, so bank reconciliations on Monday mornings were more luck than judgement!! But they were always correct.I got bored with that and decided to become a professional small caps investor in 2002. I made millions, but got too cocky, and lost the lot in 2008, due to excessive gearing. A miserable, wilderness period occurred from 2008-2012.Since then, the sun has begun to shine again! I am now utterly briliant again, and immerse myself in small caps, and am a walking encyclopedia on the subject. I love writing a daily report for on most weekday mornings, constantly researching daily results & trading updates for small caps. Cheese! more »


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