Three Quantitative Standouts

10/15/2013 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Richard Moroney

Editor, Dow Theory Forecasts

Our stock-rating system, Quadrix, considers more than 80 variables in seven categories—Momentum, Quality, Value, Financial Strength, Earnings Estimates, Performance, and Volume Metrics, writes Richard Moroney in Upside Stocks.

Used together, these scores can help you find winners and avoid losers. We do not use Quadrix exclusively, since there is much that cannot be captured by a numerical system. Still, Quadrix is designed to help ensure that we are fishing in the right waters.

Anaren (ANEN), a leading maker of microwave components for wireless communications and defense electronics, has bright growth prospects.

The space and defense division is benefiting from strong demand for radar equipment. The wireless division is benefiting from increased demand for cellular infrastructure equipment.

Anaren earns an impressive Quadrix® Overall score of 95, driven by outstanding ranks for Momentum (91) and Earnings Estimates (94).

The stock has rallied 27% since April 15, partly because of an unsolicited takeover offer that month of $23 per share—a price that management considered inadequate.

For the year ending June 2014, consensus estimates project per-share profits will rise 17% and sales 7%. Considering the strong operating momentum, shares seem reasonably valued at 18 times trailing earnings, a 17% discount to the five-year average P/E of 22.

Credit Acceptance (CACC) provides financing for auto purchases through a national network of nearly 4,500 car dealers. Its programs help dealers sell cars by attracting credit-challenged consumers unable to get conventional loans.

Credit Acceptance is benefiting from healthy volume growth and improved loan collections. For 2013, Wall Street expects per-share earnings of $10.34, up 20%. Revenue is expected to climb 11%. In 2014, the consensus calls for per-share earnings of $11.52.

Credit Acceptance earns an Overall score of 98. Trading at 10 times estimated 2013 earnings, shares seem cheap considering the profit-growth potential.

Gran Tierra Energy (GTE) ranks among the very best stocks in Quadrix. Shares earn the maximum Overall score of 100, ranking them Number One among the 165 energy exploration stocks in our research universe.

The stock earns scores of 98 or higher for Momentum, Value, Quality, and Financial Strength. Based in Canada, Gran Tierra explores for oil and gas in South America.

Gran Tierra cranks out a lot of cash flow, and a large cash position provides flexibility to expand its footprint. Cash flow from operations totaled $430 million in the 12 months ended June, up 44% from a year earlier. On June 30, the balance sheet was debt-free and held cash per share of $1.00.

Wall Street forecasts 30% higher revenue in 2013 and 80% growth in per-share profits. Shares seem unduly cheap, with a cash-adjusted trailing P/E of eight.

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