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Investor Warnings List
Complete List of Investor Warnings
Downward EPS Revisions
Analyst estimates for the next quarter have been revised down. Check for recent news stories about why the future outlook is darker.
Declining EPS Growth
EPS growth has declined. Comparing EPS growth rates, the 1-year is less than the 3-year which is less than the 5-year. Be sure to understand the reasons as declining growth earnings puts pressure on the stock price.
Declining Sales Growth
Sales growth has declined. Comparing revenue growth rates, the 1-year is less than the 3-year which is less than the 5-year. Be sure to understand the reasons as declining sales growth puts pressure on the stock price.
This company recently cut its dividend. Most companies are reluctant to cut dividends unless their prospects have taken a definite turn for the worse, although there are some companies that pay irregular dividends instead of steady, dependable ones.
A high debt equity to ratio indicates high risk. It means the company has been aggressive in using financial leverage to grow the company.
Low Growth Score
The growth score for this company is low. Look for high scores in valuation or quality to offset this.
Low Interest Coverage
This company has low interest coverage meaning it may not be able to make debt payments if the situation persists.
Low Piotroski F-Score
Companies with low F-Scores are considered to be weak according to the formula developed by Stanford accounting professor Joseph Piotroski. Make sure you understand the financial strength of this company before investing.
Low Quality Score
The quality score for this company is low, it is among the least healthy in our universe. Check if this is normal for its industry and if there are mitigating circumstances that would still make this a reasonable investment.
Low Value Score
The quality score for this company is low, it is among the most expensive in our universe by traditional value measures. Check if this is normal for its industry and if there are mitigating circumstances that would still make this a reasonable investment.
Negative Cash Flow Years
In the last decade this company has had several years with negative operating cash flow. No company can survive long with negative cash flow so make sure you understand this risk.
This company has negative cumulative earnings over the past 12 months. Make sure to understand the company’s prospects for becoming profitable.
Negative Sales Growth Years
In the last decade this company has had several years with negative revenue growth. If the top-line sales are shrinking this company could be a value trap that looks inexpensive on some measures but never outperforms the market.
The Beneish M-Score is a probabilistic model for how likely it is that a company’s earnings have been manipulated. Consider valuing this company by its cash flow ratios such as "Price to Cash Flow" instead of its P/E ratio since cash flow is not easily manipulated.
This company reported lower EPS than was expected last quarter. Check the earnings call transcripts for an explanation of why they under-performed to understand if it’s a trend that will continue.
GAAP Earnings vs. Pro Forma
The GAAP compliant earnings that the company filed with the SEC are less than the pro-forma earnings they announced to the press. Pro-forma earnings can exclude special one-time charges but some distressed companies post these "one-time" charges quarter after quarter.
Goodwill on a company’s balance often results from over-paying to acquire other firms. A high percentage here can turn into impairment charges that weigh down future earnings for the company.
Intangible assets on a company’s balance sheet can have genuine economic value but are hard to value. When they represent a high percent of the company’s total assets, make sure to investigate whether the value the company places on these patents, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property is justified.
High Stock Based Compensation
Stock based compensation is a drag on the return to investors. The Compensation Yield metric shows the percent of the market cap that has been given to managers and employees over the last year alone. This dilutes the value of all other shareholders.
Lack of Data
We don’t have enough data on this symbol to evaluate it merits. It may be too new or too small.
A company that is late filing financial statements with the SEC may have serious accounting troubles. At the very least it indicates caution because our data is not as current as it would be for other companies.
Number of Earnings Misses
Over the past 10 quarters there have been several earnings misses. Historically, meeting or beating estimates is twice as common as missing. Frequent misses are a warning sign to investigate.
This warning triggers when the fully diluted share count is higher than the basic share count. If the company has issued a high amount of convertible securities the diluted share counts will be higher and future EPS will be weighed down by the dilution effect.
High Short Percent
A significant percentage of this company’s shares are being shorted by investors betting against it. This shows sentiment is negative. Note that exchanges only calculate this value twice per month so it can be delayed.
High volatility stocks are a double-edged sword. Stock pickers can be rewarded with large gains or punished with similar losses. Make sure you note this risk.
Low Sentiment Score
The sentiment score for this company is low. The stock has worse momentum than most other stocks. Contrarian investors love this sort of stock but be sure to understand why it is out of favor.
Stocks with low dollar volume can be hard to enter and exit efficiently, are more prone to big price movements, and are less well covered by analysts.
The MACD indicator has turned negative in the past week. This is a bearish signal among technical traders.
This stock has pulled back more than 20% from its 52-week high in the last month. Check the news for an explanation.
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