No. of Recommendations: 29
Piotroski like Pyad likes Low PTBV stocks. His research found that using the criteria below on all shares in the lowest quintile of PTBV produced a return of 7.5% per annum above the portfolio of low PTBV stocks over his 20 year test period.

There are nine steps or tests in the model. The stock gets a point for every step/test it passes and a zero for any step it fails. Betting on stocks that score eight or nine points is recommended, though for the test criteria 5 points was used.

Test 1: Positive net income - Net income, the bottomline after-tax profits, is the simplest measure of profitability. Score a point if the latest year's net income is positive; otherwise, a zero.

Test 2: Positive cash flow - Cash flow is arguably a better profitability measure than net income. Cash flow measures the money that actually moved into or out of a firm's bank accounts. Add one point if the latest year's operating cash flow is positive.

Test 3: Earnings quality - Many experts compare net income to operating cash flow to detect potential accounting manipulations. Cash flow normally exceeds net income because depreciation and other non-cash expenses reduce income, but not cash flow. Award one point if the latest year's operating cash flow exceeds the current year's net income.

Test 4: Decreasing debt - Piotroski rewards companies that are reducing their debt levels. He uses 'financial leverage,' which is total debt divided by total assets, to quantify debt. Award one point if the most recent annual figure is less than the value of the preceding year.

Test 5: Increasing working capital - Working capital, the difference between current assets and current liabilities, measures the cash available to run the business.

Piotroski prefers stocks with increasing working capital. Current ratio, which is current assets divided by current liabilities, is the usual metric for measuring working capital. Award one point if the most recent annual figure exceeds the preceding year's number.

Test 6: Increase in asset turnover - Award one point if the most recent annual asset turnover (sales revenue divided by total assets) exceeds the year-ago figure.

Test 7: Growing profitability - Return on assets measures overall profitability by comparing net income to total assets (net income divided by total assets). Award one point if the most recent annual ROA exceeds the year-ago figure.

Test 8: Issuing stock - Piotroski prefers companies that did not issue more stock to raise capital or to fund acquisitions. Award one point if the most recent number of total shares outstanding is equal to, or less than, the year-ago figure.

Test 9: Competitive position - Increasing competition often forces companies to cut prices, and hence profit margins, to maintain sales. Conversely, rising profit margins signal an improving competitive position. Award one point if this year's gross profit margin exceeds the year-ago number.

Piotroski's scoring system is easy to use. It was found to be effective over the period from 1976 to 1996 by Piotroski himself.

Thoughts, comments?

JonnyT
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