Magic Formula Stocks - Joel Greenblatt

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What is Joel Greenblatt Magic Formula?


Joel Greenblatt is Background A widely respected hedge-fund manager. Joel Greenblatt, started as a value purist but was influenced by Warren Buffett's view about growth being part of the value equation. He founded Gotham Capital, a fund which apparently returned over 40% annualized from 1985 to 2005. By 1995, it had returned all money to its outside investors. He has authored two books, "You Can Be a Stock Market Genius" and New York Times bestsellier, "The Little Book That Beats the Market," and is also adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School. Greenblatt espouses MFI as a do-it-yourself version of the approach he has used while amassing his investment track record. With the "Little Book," Greenblatt wanted to write a book his children could read and learn from. The main point Greenblatt makes is that investors should buy good companies at bargain prices.

Magic Formula Investing uses return on capital and earnings yield as its inputs. Return on capital is seen as the best determinant of whether a business is a good one or not. Companies that can earn a high ROC over time generally have a special advantage that keeps competition from destroying it (e.g., name recognition, a new product that is hard to duplicate or a unique business model).

Earnings yield is the metric that shows whether a company is cheap or not. Greenblatt says that stock prices of a firm can experience "wild" swings even as the value of the company stays relatively constant giving investors opportunities to buy low and sell high.

Calculation/Definition of the Magic Formula:

1. Define minimum Market Capitalization that meets your liquidity needs. Greenblatt used a market capitalization floor of $50 million, but advised that you can set the minimum as high as $5 billion.
2. Sector Filter: Due to their unique financial structures, all stocks in the financial and utility sectors are excluded. Calculate Earnings Yield = EBIT / enterprise value.
3. Calculate Return on Capital = EBIT / (Net fixed assets + working capital)
4. EY Rank: Rank the stocks in descending order based on Earnings Yield and assign a rank number to each.
5. ROC Rank: Rank the same stocks in descending order based on Return on Capital and assign a rank number to each.
6. Add the rankings and select stocks that have the lowest combined ranking score. So a company that is ranked 358nd best in terms of ROC and 122rd highest in EY would gets a better combined ranking (i.e., 470) than a company that is ranked 1st in ROIC but only 950th best in EY (i.e., 951).

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Symbol Company Predictability Market Cap ($mil) Earnings Yield (%) Return on Capital (%) 10-Y EBITDA Growth Rate (%) 5-Y EBITDA Growth Rate (%) P/E Yield (%) Rank
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 786.33843.8087.760.00 11.100.001
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 202.94315.70390.080.00 19.802.802
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
55885.00115.20446.460.00 0.000.003
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 38232.78412.902735.520.00 0.005.104
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 952.80017.308791.400.00 0.002.605
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 174.76921.10153.280.00 -60.501.036
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
41.62527.20102.420.00 0.000.007
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 2.042868060.3060.800.00 23.800.008
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
81723.13637.4087.700.00 2.401.109
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
82148.04037.6087.700.00 2.402.3010
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 4.5/5
Business Predictability Rank: 4.5-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 4.5-Star stocks: 10.6% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 10%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
3286.81812.803102.8219.60 15.001.3011
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
8926.62114.60519.900.00 5.503.0012
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 819.75914.20567.520.00 6.202.6013
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 740.17112.0049123.380.00 0.000.0014
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 7010.00035.0082.600.00 0.003.2015
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 7045.00035.2082.600.00 0.002.9016
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 61749.48013.90577.4523.90 6.504.4017
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 61990.87813.90577.4523.90 6.503.6018
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 44987.30830.0090.340.00 87.403.7019
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
16103.22814.00494.490.00 0.003.5020
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
5.48414.60342.020.00 0.005.2021
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 8705.92318.60171.910.00 0.002.3022
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 184.97415.20295.890.00 13.308.8023
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
43.86024.50145.650.90 40.803.7024
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 1496.56512.601399.880.00 -4.301.5025
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
62.17213.001039.810.00 0.000.0026
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 2/5
Business Predictability Rank: 2-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 2-Star stocks: 6% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 16%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
33953.64319.80131.401.40 8.203.5027
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 2/5
Business Predictability Rank: 2-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 2-Star stocks: 6% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 16%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
34108.52519.90131.401.40 8.203.8028
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 1-Star stocks: 1.1% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 45%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
93.72028.9090.240.00 0.000.0029
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 131.641833.3055.000.00 22.702.5030

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