Online Journal for the Moose Pond Investors Club

Finding Outliers in a Portfolio

Our lowest PAR, highest P/E stock is FDS

One of the activities in portfolio management is to look for “outliers” in a portfolio. That is part of the continuous process of improving a portfolio. Comparing the projected average return, P/E ratio, projected sales growth, projected revenue growth, and quality metrics for each stock in a portfolio, can help spot outliers. To borrow an airborne term, at least one stock will be standing in the door, ready to jump. Outliers make good candidates for sale when a better opportunity comes along.

The dashboard for our portfolio shows the projected average return for each stocks. Factset Research Data (FDS) is the outlier, with the lowest projected average return (6%) of all our stocks except ChevronTexaco. Looking at the portfolio summary, FDS has a current current P/E of 34 making it the highest P/E stock in the portfolio.

FDS has been one of our winners, +12.3% YTD. However, its run-up in price has reduced its projected average return (PAR) to about 6%. (See updated stock selection guide.) Value Line rates its financial strength B++ and earnings predictability 100. Morningstar rates it “three stars” meaning it is fairly priced.

So the dilemma is do we “let the winner run” or “take profits.” It is probably a hold at this point. If the PAR falls any lower, however, it will be candidate for replacement.

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