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
  • 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
149783.81812.27557.180.00 27.2010.710.42151
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
25779.93517.2187.1915.60 46.0010.611.68152
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
633.59012.97159.390.00 0.0015.713.18153
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
70.75110.79962.400.00 0.0017.100.88154
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 4/5
Business Predictability Rank: 4-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 4-Star stocks: 9.8% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 8%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
129791.88012.12356.358.50 8.4014.883.13155
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 1291.99812.23619.160.00 0.0016.160.00156
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
5708.81914.05124.050.00 50.5010.090.00157
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 7611.15915.7580.380.00 56.202.581.40158
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
1669.24816.7572.090.00 0.009.457.49159
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 24.22523.9539.330.00 34.7012.060.00160
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
22666.43520.4652.000.00 0.006.772.56161
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 104.36134.8636.660.00 0.002.002.27162
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
422.30917.6077.460.00 0.007.507.20163
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 3733.08712.46158.580.00 4.3013.890.00164
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 361.77615.1288.880.00 -14.1011.757.40165
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
567.40414.9487.888.00 -13.3013.411.47166
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 3/5
Business Predictability Rank: 3-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 3-Star stocks: 8.2% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 11%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
11946.12411.09430.0713.30 4.1014.193.69167
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 432.85233.5135.950.00 14.208.023.03168
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
1164.24521.9545.36-2.10 44.507.411.52169
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
64.12613.63145.190.00 0.0013.238.01170
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 457.98413.61105.010.00 0.0011.9214.89171
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 2.5/5
Business Predictability Rank: 2.5-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 2.5-Star stocks: 7.3% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 18%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
1951.48013.90108.6015.10 4.9012.182.26172
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 485.46213.9885.450.00 42.506.290.00173
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 15.17610.05408.650.00 59.4046.460.40174
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
10.86024.8039.590.00 0.008.100.00175
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 0.00085.5030.180.00 0.004.300.00176
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 2.5/5
Business Predictability Rank: 2.5-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 2.5-Star stocks: 7.3% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 18%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
4203.16013.89102.4315.70 14.8013.131.48177
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
1732.84611.60226.2534.90 4.9020.281.66178
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 2067.41345.2531.110.00 8.402.3532.42179
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 2.5/5
Business Predictability Rank: 2.5-Star
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 2.5-Star stocks: 7.3% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 18%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
6068.67218.3849.944.40 4.5013.750.85180




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