Three Top Triple Threats

8/13/2012


Only 27 stocks in the S&P 500 Index earn Quadrix Overall scores above 90, and only 11 of those also score above 90 in both of our sector-specific scores — 12-Factor Sector, which considers a dozen statistics that work well within a sector, and Reranked Overall, which reweights the category scores used to compute the traditional Overall score.

Of those 11 top scorers, the Forecasts recommends five for purchase.Given the effectiveness of the Overall and sector-specific scores at identifying stocks that outperform, you couldn't ask for a better buy signal. Here are three of those triple threats:

Agilent Technologies ($40; A) shares have declined 1% over the last year despite 30% growth in profits and operating cash flows. That operating momentum comes cheap — just 13 times trailing earnings. Agilent is a Focus List Buy and a Long-Term Buy.


In the two weeks after Apple ($621; AAPL) missed June-quarter profit targets and issued disappointing guidance — a period when the profit consensus for fiscal 2012 ending in September fell 6% — the shares have risen 8%, mostly reflecting expectations that a new iPhone will be unveiled in September. Apple is a Focus List Buy and a Long-Term Buy.


UnitedHealth ($53; UNH) is a model of consistency. Operating cash flow and per-share profits have risen in each of the last 14 quarters, and the company hasn't seen a sales decline in at least 20 years. The health insurer is a Buy and a Long-Term Buy.

TRIPLE THREATS
All of the 11 S&P 500 Index stocks below score above 90 in Quadrix Overall and both of our sector-specific ranks. Stocks recommended for purchase are listed in bold.
------------ Quadrix Scores ------------
Sector-Specific
------ Scores ------
Company (Price; Ticker)
Momen-
tum
Value
Quality
Overall
12-
Factor
Sector
Reranked
Overall
Sector
Agilent Technologies
($40; A)
71
82
92
96
96
99
Health Care
Apple ($621; AAPL)
79
67
100
95
100
99
Technology
CF Industries
($206; CF)
92
89
100
100
100
100
Materials
Denbury Res.
($16; DNR)
91
88
95
95
96
98
Energy
Discover Financial
($37; DFS)
71
78
88
97
100
98
Financials
MetroPCS ($9; PCS)
74
93
84
98
100
100
Telecom
Northrop Grumman
($67; NOC)
79
86
70
98
94
100
Industrials
Oracle ($32; ORCL)
64
73
96
95
93
97
Technology
Seagate Tech.
($33; STX)
94
94
99
99
98
100
Technology
UnitedHealth
($53; UNH)
71
81
86
92
99
91
Health Care
Western Digital
($42; WDC)
96
97
96
100
97
100
Technology
Note: Quadrix scores and sector-specific scores are percentile ranks, with 100 the best.

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