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Screen Editor

Using the Screen Editor, you can run, edit, and create stock screens.

Opening the Screen Editor

To open the Screen Editor, select Tools from the main menu and then select Screen Editor (Tools – Screen Editor). You can also select the Screen Editor icon from the toolbar or use the Alt and S keys (Alt + S).

Following any of these methods will open the Screen Editor:

Screen_Editor.gif

Opening an Existing Screen

Clicking on the pulldown menu at the top of the Screen Editor window, next to Name:, will show you the preinstalled screens (those screens marked with a “*”) as well as those that you have created yourself and saved:

Screen_Editor_Pulldown_menu.gif

Selecting a screen from this menu will load the criteria into the Screen Editor:

Neff_Screen_Pulldown_Selection.gif

From here, you can modify the criteria or apply it to run the selected screen and load the passing companies into the Stock Notebook.

Applying a Screen

Choosing a screen from the pull-down menu will automatically run the screen against the active set of companies and load the passing companies (results of the screen) in the Stock Notebook. You know a screen is loaded because the name of the screen appears in the Screen menu:

Stock_Notebook___Loaded_Screen.gif

You can also load Stock Investor screens through the Screen Editor. To open the Screen Editor, select Tools from the main menu and then select Screen Editor (Tools – Screen Editor). You can also select the Screen Editor icon from the toolbar or use the Alt and S keys (Alt + S).

Following any of these methods will open the Screen Editor:

Screen_Editor.gif

Clicking on the pulldown menu at the top of the Screen Editor window, next to Name:, will show you the preinstalled screens (those screens marked with a "*") as well as those that you have created yourself and saved:

Screen_Editor_Pulldown_menu.gif

Selecting a screen from this menu will load the criteria into the Screen Editor:

Neff_Screen_Pulldown_Selection.gif

Within the Screen Editor, there are two ways to “run” a screen. At the bottom right-hand side of the Screen Editor window are the How Many and Apply buttons. If you would like to know how many companies pass a screen, but do not wish the results to be loaded into the Stock Notebook, click on the How Many button:

Screen_Editor___How_Many.gif

Doing so with the *Neff, John screen tells us that 40 companies pass the screen. However, since the *Neff, John screen does not appear in the Screen menu at the top of the program window, we know that the results of the screen have not been loaded in to the Stock Notebook. Furthermore, we see that the number of passing companies indicated in the Screen Editor (40) does not match the number of companies loaded in the Stock Notebook (9,504). Therefore, if you closed the Screen Editor, the companies you would see in the Stock Notebook would not be the results of the screen on which you ran the How Many function.

In order to run a screen and have the results—-i.e., the passing companies—-loaded into the Stock Notebook for viewing and additional analysis, you must click the Apply button:

Screen_Editor___Apply.gif

Here we see that the *Neff, John screen is in the Screen pulldown menu and that the number of passing companies matches the number of companies currently loaded in the Stock Notebook.

Creating a New Screen

Stock Investor also offers you the ability to create and save your own stock screens. Let’s walk through the creation of a simple screen that makes use of some of the unique features of Stock Investor. We are going to attempt to isolate stocks with the following traits:

  • Do not trade as American depositary receipts (ADRs, shares of foreign stock traded on American exchanges);
  • An average annual growth rate in earnings per share from continuing operations over the last five fiscal years of at least 10%;
  • A price-earnings (P/E) ratio that is less than or equal to half the median PE for the company’s respective industry;
  • The price strength relative to the S&P 500 over the last 26 weeks ranks in the top 90% of the entire stock universe.

To begin, you will need to open the Screen Editor by following any of the steps outlined earlier. If you are already in the Screen Editor, click on the New button at the top of the editor window to reset the editor. You are now ready to enter the first line of criteria.

In the Screen Editor, click on the first open cell (box) located in the Field column. This will bring up the list of the data categories found within Stock Investor:

Screen_Editor___First_line_of_screen.gif

Locate the Company Information category and click on the + sign next to Company Information—this will expand the category to show all the data elements within it. Scroll down the list until you find ADR/ADS Stock (the fields are in alphabetical order) and double-click on it. Next, click in the first cell in the Operator column and double-click on Is False:

Screen_Editor___First_line_of_screen_II.gif

The first line of criteria is now complete.

To begin the second line of criteria, click in the second cell in the Field column. Scroll down the list of data categories until you come to Growth Rates and click on the + next to Growth Rates, scroll down to EPS Cont-Growth 5yr, and double-click on it:

Screen_Editor___Second_line_of_screen.gif

Now, click in the second cell in the Operator column and double click on >= (the greater than or equal to sign):

Screen_Editor___Second_line_of_screen_II.gif

To complete this line of criteria, click in the second cell of the Compare To column (make sure it is the Compare To column and not the Factor column, which we will discuss later). Clicking in this cell one will bring up the fiels picker. However, since we wish to use a number and not another field, click in the cell again so that you see a blinking cursor in the cell and type in 10:

Screen_Editor___Second_line_of_screen_III.gif

Note: Since the program recognizes growth rates as being percentages you do not need to enter the %. In fact, doing so would render the screen invalid.

For the third line of criteria, click in the third cell in the Field column. Scroll down the list of data categories until you come to Multiples. Click on the + next to Multiples, scroll down to PE, and double-click on it:

Screen_Editor___Third_line_of_screen.gif

Now, click in the third cell in the Operator column and double click on <= (the less than or equal to sign):

Screen_Editor___Third_line_of_screen_II.gif

Next we make use of the Factor column: In order to screen for companies whose PE is less than half (50%) of its industry’s PE, click in the third cell of the Factor column and type in 0.5:

Screen_Editor___Third_line_of_screen_IIIa.gif

To complete this line of criteria, click in the third cell of the Compare To column (make sure it is the Compare To column). Click on the + next to Medians and double-click on Industry:

Screen_Editor___Third_line_of_screen_IIIb.gif

The last line of criteria for this screen begins by clicking in the fourth cell of the Field column. Click on the + next to % Rank, scroll down to % Rank-Rel Strength 26 week and double-click on it:

Screen_Editor___Fourth_line_of_screen.gif

Click in the fourth cell in the Operator column and double-click on >= (greater than or equal to):

Screen_Editor___Fourth_line_of_screen_II.gif

Finally, click in the fourth cell of the Compare To column (not the Factor column). Click on the cell again so that you see a blinking cursor and type in 90. The final screen should look like this:

Screen_Editor___Fourth_line_of_screen_III.gif

When you create a new screen, you can also save it. To do so, click on the Save button at the bottom of the Screen Editor window. The Save Screen window allows you to name the screen and, if you wish, provide a description of the screen:

Saving_Screen.gif

Note: You can also use the Save As button to save new screens. The Save As option is most helpful when you wish to save an existing screen under a different name.

"How Many" vs. "Apply"

Now that the screen is complete, it is time to apply it to the entire Stock Investor database. To make sure that you have no portfolios loaded, look to see that None appears in the Portfolio pulldown menu on the toolbar. The top right of the Screen Editor also tells you whether a portfolio has been loaded.

To apply this screen, click on the Apply button at the bottom right of the Screen Editor. Depending on your system speed, it may take a few moments for the screen to run. Dialog boxes will appear while the screen is running and while the companies that pass the screen are being loaded into the Stock Notebook. As the screen is running, numbers will appear in the Count On column in each line of screening criteria. This is the number of companies that passed each individual piece of criterion. For example, as Figure 1 shows, 8,200 companies passed the ADR/ADS Stock Is False filter (meaning that 541 of the 8,741 companies in the Stock Investor database are ADRs as of April 22, 2005). Knowing how many stocks pass a specific filter is useful, especially when you create a screen that does not generate any passing companies. You are able to see which pieces of criteria are most restrictive so that you can possibly relax the constraints to allow (more) companies to pass.

When the screen is complete, a number will appear in the box next to the How Many button—this is the total number of companies that passed the entire screen. As of April 22, 31 companies passed this screen (Figure 1). To save this screen, click on the Save button. You will be prompted to name the screen and, if you want, to provide a brief description for it. Once you have done this, click on Ok and you will return to the Screen Editor. To view the results of the screen, you can either close or minimize the Screen Editor to view the Stock Notebook.