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AAII's Guide to Top Web Sites

Stock Screening

A popular approach to stock research is using stock screens. This method involves running quantitative filters through a universe of stocks to find candidates that are promising and warrant further analysis. The stocks that pass a screen will meet the criteria used to create the screen. Investors seek various characteristics in stocks, but the quintessential qualities of high growth and low valuation are popular criteria. Using stock screens, you are able to focus on a small selection of stocks that meet your preferred characteristics. The top stock screening sites provide an abundance of data fields. Superior sites provide filters for stock sector, stock type, performance, growth and valuation and cover an exhaustive universe. However, you should be prepared to pay for the top screening services.

 CNBC.com  

   www.cnbc.com
FREE

Where to Find: Hover your mouse over the Investing tab and click on Stock Screener.
One of the best free stock screeners. Offers filters for nine data categories, including company overview, performance, growth trends, valuation, management efficiency and dividends, with over 12,000 companies provided in the universe. Additional variables are shown within each category. Shows the number of company matches for each variable so that you can change the field values to allow more or fewer companies to pass the screen. Three views are presented for passing companies: overview, performance and earnings. Passing company links illustrate relevant fundamental stock data. Offers five predefined screens, and custom screens can be saved.




 Morningstar.com  

   www.morningstar.com
FREE-$195/yr. (free 14-day trial)

Where to Find: Click on Stocks at the top of the page, and then click Stock Screener at the bottom left under Tools.
The free stock screener allows you to filter by stock basics, Morningstar stock grades, company performance, stock performance and valuation. Stock basics filters include sector, type (e.g., aggressive growth, cyclical), equity style box (e.g., large-cap growth, small-cap value) and market cap size. Morningstar stock grades provide a growth grade, profitability grade and financial health grade. Stock performance filters allow you to choose year-to-date, one-month, three-month, one-year and five-year periods, and valuation filters allow you to choose trailing price-earnings ratio, price-earnings-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield values. Results can be scored based on the importance of criteria. For instance, users can choose a high growth rate as the most important characteristic, and the screener will rank the passing companies accordingly.

Fee-based Premium screener has 440 data fields for screening, allows you to run more thorough screens and offers nine built-in screens. The Premium screener is a better choice for those who use stock screens often for investment research; the free screener simply does not offer enough data fields.




 Zacks.com  

   www.zacks.com
FREE-$299/mo. (free 30-day trial)

Where to Find: At site, hover over Screening and click Stock Screening.
Allows screening on almost 8,000 companies. Screening criteria are broken down into categories including size and share volume, price and price changes, broker ratings and changes, valuations, and income statement and balance sheet items, along with other categories. Subscribers to Zacks Premium can screen based on Zacks Rank and Recommendations. Also allows screening based on earnings surprises and estimates, along with earnings revisions. Users can choose from predefined screens, save screens, or export screens to Excel without premium subscription. One of the more powerful free stock screeners.