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Key Fundamentals: Sales, Margins, Return On Equity

The Launch Pad

OK, let's say you've found a company with great sales growth, profit margins and return on equity. What's next? As good as these indicators may be, don't ignore other critical factors, such as a stock's earnings growth (the earnings lesson discusses how to evaluate earnings.), institutional sponsorship (The amount of buying by mutual funds and other institutional investors is important and is discussed in the sponsorship lesson) and relative price strength. (Relative Price Strength Rating takes a stock's price performance over the past 12 months and compares it to all other stocks. The rating is expressed on a scale of 1 to 99, with 99 being best. This is covered in the leaders lesson.) Also, studying a stock chart completes the stock selection picture. (Charts are explained in detail in the charts lesson.)

Key Points To Remember

  • Strong sales growth is one key indicator of a company's success. Quarterly sales growth should be up at least 25% in the most recent quarter. Otherwise, they should be accelerating.
  • Profit margins tell you how much of a company's sales end up as earnings after expenses. Generally, the higher profit margins, the better.
  • Return on equity measures how well a growth company can produce earnings with shareholders' capital. Look for ROEs of at least 17%.
  • You don't have to check the company's financials to be sure a company's sales, margins and ROE are acceptable. Just check the SMR Rating, making sure your stocks are rated "A" or "B."
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Your Stock Buying Checklist 1~3
Your Stock Buying Checklist 4~5
Your Stock Buying Checklist 6~8
Your Stock Buying Checklist 9~11