Trading Notebook: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) Technicals in Focus

Here we will take a look at the Gross Margin Score of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) shares. The equity currently has a score of 24.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative.  The low score of 24.00000 for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. indicates a top score for stability and growth.

Stock market investors may be well aware of how turbulent the investing climate can be. Markets might be surging to new highs leaving the average investor to wonder what will happen next. When everything is going higher in the stock market, it may seem as though every pick is going to be a winner. Conversely, when things are going down, investors may be cursing the day they ever entered the markets. These ups and downs are a normal part of investing in the stock market. Having a well thought out investing plan may help ease the burden of day to day volatility. Many successful investors and traders will preach the wonders of sticking to an outlined plan. It may take some time to actually realize how well the plan is working. If after some time the results continue to be sub-par, then it may be time to devise a different plan.

The Piotroski F-Score is a scoring system between 1-9 that determines a firm’s financial strength.  The score helps determine if a company’s stock is valuable or not.  The Piotroski F-Score of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) is 6.  A score of nine indicates a high value stock, while a score of one indicates a low value stock.  The score is calculated by the return on assets (ROA), Cash flow return on assets (CFROA), change in return of assets, and quality of earnings.  It is also calculated by a change in gearing or leverage, liquidity, and change in shares in issue.  The score is also determined by change in gross margin and change in asset turnover.

Turning to valuation, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) has a Value Composite score of 52. Developed by James O’Shaughnessy, the VC score uses five valuation ratios. These ratios are price to earnings, price to cash flow, EBITDA to EV, price to book value, and price to sales. The VC is displayed as a number between 1 and 100. In general, a company with a score closer to 0 would be seen as undervalued, and a score closer to 100 would indicate an overvalued company. Adding a sixth ratio, shareholder yield, we can view the Value Composite 2 score which is currently sitting at 49.

At the time of writing, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) has a Piotroski F-Score of 6. The F-Score may help discover companies with strengthening balance sheets. The score may also be used to spot the weak performers. Joseph Piotroski developed the F-Score which employs nine different variables based on the company financial statement. A single point is assigned to each test that a stock passes. Typically, a stock scoring an 8 or 9 would be seen as strong. On the other end, a stock with a score from 0-2 would be viewed as weak.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) has a current ERP5 Rank of 5902 . The ERP5 Rank may assist investors with spotting companies that are undervalued. This ranking uses four ratios. These ratios are Earnings Yield, ROIC, Price to Book, and 5 year average ROIC. When looking at the ERP5 ranking, it is generally considered the lower the value, the better.

Shifting gears, we can see that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) has a Q.i. Value of 43.00000. The Q.i. Value ranks companies using four ratios. These ratios consist of EBITDA Yield, FCF Yield, Liquidity, and Earnings Yield. The purpose of the Q.i. Value is to help identify companies that are the most undervalued. Typically, the lower the value, the more undervalued the company tends to be.

PI & Volatility

Stock volatility is a percentage that indicates whether a stock is a desirable purchase.  Investors look at the Volatility 12m to determine if a company has a low volatility percentage or not over the course of a year.  The Volatility 12m of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) is 16.894900.  This is calculated by taking weekly log normal returns and standard deviation of the share price over one year annualized.  The lower the number, a company is thought to have low volatility.  The Volatility 3m is a similar percentage determined by the daily log normal returns and standard deviation of the share price over 3 months.  The Volatility 3m of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) is 20.017200.  The Volatility 6m is the same, except measured over the course of six months.  The Volatility 6m is 18.369700.

We can now take a quick look at some historical stock price index data. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) presently has a 10 month price index of 1.22996. The price index is calculated by dividing the current share price by the share price ten months ago. A ratio over one indicates an increase in share price over the period. A ratio lower than one shows that the price has decreased over that time period. Looking at some alternate time periods, the 12 month price index is 1.15392, the 24 month is 1.46887, and the 36 month is 1.97929. Narrowing in a bit closer, the 5 month price index is 1.12855, the 3 month is 1.11463, and the 1 month is currently 1.00423.

Investors will be paying extra close attention to company earnings reports during this current season. With stocks bordering on all-time highs, any substantial earnings beats may propel stocks to even greater heights. On the flip side, stocks that may be overvalued could see a significant correction if earnings disappoint. Every earnings season has its share of big winners and big losers. Trying to project the stocks that will post large beats for the quarter can be tricky. Even if the research points to a company handily beating on the earnings front, the stock may not always react as expected. Trading around earnings reports can get quite dicey for even the most seasoned investors. 

Investors having Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) on their watchlists might want to take into consideration the Gross Margin Score of the firm. Canadian Natural Resources Limited currently has a score of 33.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative.  The low score of 33.00000 for Canadian Natural Resources Limited indicates a top score for stability and growth.

When looking at technical analysis, one of the leading concepts is that of the trend. Chartists are constantly looking to identify trends to help determine which way a stock price is moving. Trends may not always be easy to spot, but they can be highly useful when identified. When looking at the stock market, an example of an upward trend is generally classified as a stock price that over time keeps reaching higher highs and higher lows. On the flip side, a downward trend is usually identified by spotting a stock that has been hitting lower lows and lower highs. Defining trends may take the novice trader some time to figure out, but learning how to properly study charts may help bring in steady profits in the future. 

At the time of writing, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) has a Piotroski F-Score of 7. The F-Score may help discover companies with strengthening balance sheets. The score may also be used to spot the weak performers. Joseph Piotroski developed the F-Score which employs nine different variables based on the company financial statement. A single point is assigned to each test that a stock passes. Typically, a stock scoring an 8 or 9 would be seen as strong. On the other end, a stock with a score from 0-2 would be viewed as weak.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) has a current ERP5 Rank of 7805 . The ERP5 Rank may assist investors with spotting companies that are undervalued. This ranking uses four ratios. These ratios are Earnings Yield, ROIC, Price to Book, and 5 year average ROIC. When looking at the ERP5 ranking, it is generally considered the lower the value, the better.

Shifting gears, we can see that Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) has a Q.i. Value of 11.00000. The Q.i. Value ranks companies using four ratios. These ratios consist of EBITDA Yield, FCF Yield, Liquidity, and Earnings Yield. The purpose of the Q.i. Value is to help identify companies that are the most undervalued. Typically, the lower the value, the more undervalued the company tends to be.

Checking in on some valuation rankings, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) has a Value Composite score of 22. Developed by James O’Shaughnessy, the VC score uses five valuation ratios. These ratios are price to earnings, price to cash flow, EBITDA to EV, price to book value, and price to sales. The VC is displayed as a number between 1 and 100. In general, a company with a score closer to 0 would be seen as undervalued, and a score closer to 100 would indicate an overvalued company. Adding a sixth ratio, shareholder yield, we can view the Value Composite 2 score which is currently sitting at 15.

Free Cash Flow Growth (FCF Growth) is the free cash flow of the current year minus the free cash flow from the previous year, divided by last year’s free cash flow.  The FCF Growth of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) is 8.805229.  Free cash flow (FCF) is the cash produced by the company minus capital expenditure.  This cash is what a company uses to meet its financial obligations, such as making payments on debt or to pay out dividends.  The Free Cash Flow Score (FCF Score) is a helpful tool in calculating the free cash flow growth with free cash flow stability – this gives investors the overall quality of the free cash flow.  The FCF Score of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) is 6.630865.  Experts say the higher the value, the better, as it means that the free cash flow is high, or the variability of free cash flow is low or both.

Price Index

The Price Index is a ratio that indicates the return of a share price over a past period. The price index of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) for last month was 0.99543. This is calculated by taking the current share price and dividing by the share price one month ago. If the ratio is greater than 1, then that means there has been an increase in price over the month. If the ratio is less than 1, then we can determine that there has been a decrease in price. Similarly, investors look up the share price over 12 month periods. The Price Index 12m for Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) is 0.96453.
Price Range 52 Weeks

Some of the best financial predictions are formed by using a variety of financial tools. The Price Range 52 Weeks is one of the tools that investors use to determine the lowest and highest price at which a stock has traded in the previous 52 weeks. The Price Range of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) over the past 52 weeks is 0.756000. The 52-week range can be found in the stock’s quote summary.

C Score (Montier)

The C-Score is a system developed by James Montier that helps determine whether a company is involved in falsifying their financial statements. The C-Score is calculated by a variety of items, including a growing difference in net income verse cash flow, increasing days outstanding, growing days sales of inventory, increasing assets to sales, declines in depreciation, and high total asset growth. The C-Score of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ) is 2.00000. The score ranges on a scale of -1 to 6. If the score is -1, then there is not enough information to determine the C-Score. If the number is at zero (0) then there is no evidence of fraudulent book cooking, whereas a number of 6 indicates a high likelihood of fraudulent activity. The C-Score assists investors in assessing the likelihood of a company cheating in the books.

Investors might be searching high and low for the next great stock to trade. Professional investors may have their game plans honed and ready to roll, but amateurs may be fighting to stay above water in the markets. Leaping into the equity markets without any preparation may lead to quick losses. Keeping track of all the ins and outs of daily market activity can be exhausting, and investors may be best served if they are able to focus on the essentials and rise above the noise. Although successful trading might be measured differently from one person to another, the general principles of winners are generally the same. Snatching profits from the market may seem like an easy task when stocks are soaring, but things can always snap back in the blink of an eye. Investors who are able to prepare for any situation may find themselves ahead of the game when the inevitable bear market scenario rears its head.

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