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Caution: Low Earnings Quality Stocks That Pose Risks to Your Portfolio

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Identifying Stocks with Low Earnings Quality: Potential Risks for Investor Portfolios

According to Wolfe Research, while the stock market has seen strong gains in 2023, some stocks could pose trouble for investor portfolios. The firm's strategists expressed concerns over stocks that are priced for perfection amidst slowing economic conditions, anticipating that earnings disappointments may lead to significant stock blow-ups in the coming quarters. To identify potential accounting-related risks, Wolfe Research developed a proprietary quarterly earnings quality (EQ) score. This objective scoring system utilizes seven financial ratios, sentiment analysis, and valuation metrics to pinpoint underperforming stocks.

Analysis Methodology and Findings

Wolfe Research analyzed over 2,000 companies, focusing on their balance sheets and cash flow statements in the second-quarter earnings reports. The firm's low earnings quality basket, consisting of companies with an EQ score below 10, has underperformed the S&P 500 by 800 basis points year to date. Historically, Wolfe Research's screen has been effective in identifying potential "blow-ups" in sectors such as consumer, tech, industrial, and communication services.

Stocks with Low Earnings Quality

Within the communication services sector, Endeavor Group and The Trade Desk were among the stocks with the lowest scores on Wolfe's screen. Additionally, several consumer names, including Hasbro, Tesla, Wyndham Hotels, and Under Armour, made the list of companies with low earnings quality. In conclusion, Wolfe Research's analysis highlights the importance of identifying stocks with low earnings quality to mitigate potential risks in investor portfolios. By utilizing their proprietary EQ score and analyzing financial ratios, sentiment, and valuation metrics, investors can make more informed decisions. The identified underperforming stocks, particularly in the consumer, tech, industrial, and communication services sectors, warrant careful consideration to avoid potential "blow-ups" that could impact portfolio performance.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses

The analysis by Wolfe Research provides a "hot take" on how the identification of stocks with low earnings quality could impact new businesses.

Understanding the Importance of Earnings Quality

New businesses, particularly those in the consumer, tech, industrial, and communication services sectors, should take note of the importance of maintaining high earnings quality. A low EQ score can signal potential financial instability and may deter investors, impacting the company's ability to raise capital.
Applying the Lessons from Wolfe Research's Analysis
The lessons from Wolfe Research's analysis can be valuable for new businesses. By focusing on maintaining strong financial ratios and positive sentiment, and by ensuring proper valuation, businesses can work towards achieving a high EQ score. This can help attract investors and prevent potential financial "blow-ups." In conclusion, the identification of stocks with low earnings quality serves as a crucial reminder for new businesses about the importance of financial stability and transparency. By maintaining high earnings quality, new businesses can build investor confidence, secure necessary capital, and ensure sustainable growth. The lessons from Wolfe Research's analysis can provide valuable insights for new businesses navigating the financial landscape.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/08/beware-of-these-stocks-with-low-earnings-quality-that-could-blow-up-your-portfolio.html
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