What's the best online investment research tool?

I want to follow Graham advice and find stocks that have
1. Price / Avg earning of last 7 years =< 25 2. Price / Avg earning of last 1 year =< 20 3. Book value of common stocks / total capitalization, including bank debt >= 1/2 4. Years of continuous dividend payments >= 10 years
How can I find companies meeting such criteria and how can I find such information about a specific company? E.g., right now MSFT shows P/E ~ 13 over earning of the last 1 year. How can I get the P/E for MSFT over avg earning of the last 7 years?
Reply to
Learn By Doing
#2 and #3 are easy to find on sites like Yahoo! Finance.
Mergent's list of dividend achievers will almost give you #4 - Mergent's lists the companies that have had at least 10 years of dividends with no dividend decreases. I think they have an online subscription service, but you can probably find the list in print at your local library.
#1 may be the most difficult, I don't know of a place where you can get that directly. However, you can figure this out for yourself from data in Value Line which also has an online subscription, but is also likely available in print at your local library. The print version will be a bit tedious if you hope to screen stocks quickly, however. For something close, the National Association of Investment Clubs used to allow you to screen companies on average 10 year P/E ratios on their website for a small subscription fee, but I don't know if this is still the case. At some point they changed their name, the original site is now here:
formatting link
, their new site does not appear to be functional
formatting link
Good luck and let us know if you find other interesting resources, -Will
william dot trice at ngc dot com
Reply to
Will Trice
Will gave you a great advice with a list of great possibilities. I want to caution you against blindly relying on screens too much. Very many people, including those managing large amounts of "other people's money", are running similar screens, often buying mechanically, competing for stocks whose prices appear low in those screens. Some are described in fancy terms as "130/30 enhanced return hedge funds" or some such. The result of this competition is that it may no longer be attractive to buy these "low PE, low P/B" stocks without further considerations.
The concept of "value investing" that suggests to buy a dollar of earnings at a big discount, goes far beyond mechanical screens and involves attempts to get understanding of the future of possible investment opportunities.
I am not implying that your intention was to mechanically apply these filters, only to caution against doing so.
Reply to
Igor Chudov
As regards screening and Ben Graham - parameters were 'buy' points. Now is as good a time as any to 'screen' but good companies are not going to stay below those parameters. The obvious "trick" to investing is plainly obvious and self-defining: look for companies with solid businesses run by solid people. Most of Graham is qualitative analysis. Read Buffett's piece on See's Candies.
When you have a handful of companies you like, follow the news, and get a bit more knowledge. Then wait for the market to hand you low PE's (low prices, really) on a silver platter. One 'easy idea' for a screen in these times is simply companies that have increased their dividends in the past year. Then check out the business.
I prefer to look for younger companies with established business but with huge growth potential. Then I apply Graham, Dodd, & Cottle's logic and analysis, and I follow the companies' sales and earnings and public information regarding their markets and business.
Reply to
Value Line gives some good historical information on stocks. It costs a bit and, AFIK, isn't available over the Web. Check your local library.
Book value can be misleading because it can contain considerable goodwill and intangible assets, so be sure to look at tangible book value which isn't disclosed by most screeners. Tangible book value is always less than book value to best of my knowledge.
-- Ron
Reply to
Ron Peterson

BeanSmart website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.