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 (On Watch)
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
320.984103.8046.01-10.10 25.6099999999.994.80168
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 461.17852.2047.700.00 0.002.200.00183
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 55.020176.7048.760.00 0.000.6092.86149
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 59.99151.2049.490.00 0.000.000.00172
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 2734.49740.8053.830.00 5.800.000.00190
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
113.906118.9054.870.00 0.003.800.00133
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
22625.879121.2055.510.00 0.0010.202.15128
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 39.610152.2055.540.00 0.003.103.60125
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 12.64651.0057.090.00 0.0010.200.00143
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 18.21878.3058.130.00 20.601.100.00129
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
38.99226.3058.16-3.30 47.508.903.87194
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
21.67271.8058.190.00 0.0015.700.00135
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 14.00047.3058.210.00 0.001.900.00147
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 13088.10126.7060.710.00 -0.709.802.96178
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 19.148106.4060.720.00 0.000.500.00116
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 143.5545951.7060.800.00 23.802.500.0093
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 1482.60927.6060.870.00 22.503.900.00170
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 333.9171000.0062.130.00 0.008.800.6698
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
303.29959.1062.450.00 0.007.200.00123
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
92.40949.8071.991.80 14.500.702.50106
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 1684.49521.5077.790.00 0.006.302.07171
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 3.5/5
Business Predictability Rank: 3.5-Star (On Watch)
Back Testing Results:
Average gain of all 3.5-Star stocks: 9.3% per year.
% of Stocks that are in still loss if held for 10yrs: 9%.
Read more:
What is Predictability Rank?
Performances of real portfolio
Top Ranked Predictable Companies
363.38021.5078.286.20 30.800.000.00162
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 732.14723.8081.250.00 11.1026.300.00140
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 1889.34819.5084.370.00 0.0025.802.15179
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 20503.41527.0087.530.00 -4.9013.700.02108
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 18108.42928.7087.530.00 -4.9012.901.23109
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 847.97721.9088.380.00 0.0013.501.69144
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
61.15519.6089.270.00 -1.907.300.00167
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only 17.205560.3093.420.00 -17.402.200.0076
Premium Member OnlyPremium Member Only
  • Currently 1/5
Business Predictability Rank: 1-Star (On Watch)
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
104.41234.2095.2413.20 29.402.5013.2297

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