Shares of Express Inc. (EXPR) plunged after the boutique retailer shocked Wall Street with its FY 2016 guidance. While Express initially was predicting EPS between $1.41 and $1.54, today it slashed its outlook to EPS between $1.00 and $1.14. By comparison, the analyst community has been calling for $1.46 EPS this year.
Clearly, this does not bode well for the company. Shareholders clearly agree, so EXPR shares plunged over 20% today.
No one likes to see one of their stocks lose over a fifth of its value. But the good news is that there is something you can do to protect yourself from unexpected volatility. Simply, before any of your stocks reports earnings, run it through Portfolio Grader. When it comes to stock analysis or portfolio analysis, Portfolio Grader is an incredibly powerful tool for individual investors. You can read all about Portfolio Grader here, but here’s how it works in a nutshell:
There are two critical characteristics at the center of my stock analysis. The first is strong fundamentals. By fundamentals, I mean sales growth, earnings growth and the like. Growing companies are companies that are healthy and thriving. They have smart leaders who know how to run and manage a smart business. If a company is struggling to sell its products or is spending more than it makes, it’s not a company that you want to own for growth.
The second characteristic I look for in any great stock is strong buying pressure. Think of this as "following the money." The more money that floods into a stock, the more momentum a stock has to rise. And there’s no doubt about it, we all like stocks that rise!
So when you plug EXPR into Portfolio Grader, you’ll notice that not only does the stock fail with a D-rating…it has been stuck there for the past four months running! A D-rating makes EXPR an automatic sell. That’s due to a combination of anemic buying pressure (D Quantitative Grade) and lackluster fundamentals (C Fundamental Grade).
In fact, of the eight fundamental metrics I graded EXPR on, it only earned decent grades on three: Operating margin growth, cash flow and return on equity. However, after this latest announcement, it’s likely that even those grades will degrade in the coming weeks.
The bottom line is that running EXPR through Portfolio Grader a few days ago could have saved shareholders a lot of heartburn. The flipside of this is that savvy investors can also use Portfolio Grader to research potential buying opportunities this earnings season. For example, you can click here to few the top-rated Specialty Retail stocks in Portfolio Grader right now.