By Bristol Voss
Now that earnings season is winding down, we can direct our attention back to the other measures of a company's worth. My favorite is cash -- a lot of cash on hand, so much so that all debts could be wiped out in an instant. Perhaps that is wishful thinking.
To me, cash is actual in-the-bank cash plus short-term liquid investments. Money isn't my only bias. I like to see free cash flow greater than total debt. Plus, I'm very fond of earnings per share. I like EPS to grow because I see no reason not to have it all.
However, I decided not to penalize the group that had steady, but not growing, EPS, and have listed them below.
Please note that perfectly good companies have not made this list because of my many biases. But it's interesting that of all the major stocks traded, I could only definitively identify five companies that met my criteria. Two are listed on the NYSE, and three are listed on the Nasdaq.
Also note that I primarily used YCharts to screen the stocks. To be safe, I cross-checked the numbers with the Yahoo Finance Stock Screener. In most cases, these numbers were in the same ballpark, give or take a few hundred million.
One thing that became obvious was the peril of relying on a single (or perhaps any) Stock Screener, which will be addressed in the future.
Here are the five stocks that have the cash and, to all appearances, the wherewithal to spend it wisely. The first three are my A Team: They have all the right numbers, including positive EPS growth. The last two are the B Team, which have zero EPS growth, but otherwise met my criteria.
(The stock prices listed are as of approximately 11:45 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6.)
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Bristol Voss holds no positions in stocks mentioned.