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Trade-Ideas: Express Scripts (ESRX) Is Today's "Water-Logged And Getting Wetter" Stock

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Express Scripts (ESRX) as a "water-logged and getting wetter" (weak stocks crossing below support with today's range greater than 200%) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Express Scripts as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • ESRX has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $346.8 million.
  • ESRX has traded 726,163 shares today.
  • ESRX traded in a range 208.7% of the normal price range with a price range of $1.55.
  • ESRX traded below its daily resistance level (quality: 11 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 11 calendar days. The resistance price is defined by the Price - $0.01 at the time of the signal).

Stocks matching the 'Water-Logged and Getting Wetter' criteria are worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and volatility. Trade-Ideas targets these opportunities because the stock is exhibiting an unusual behavior while displaying negative price action. In this case, the stock crossed an important inflection point; namely, "support" while at the same time the range of the stock's movement in price is twice its normal size. This large range foreshadows a possible continuation as the stock moves lower.

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More details on ESRX:

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. ESRX has a PE ratio of 31.2. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Express Scripts has been 5.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Express Scripts has a market cap of $55.0 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.54 and a short float of 1.9% with 2.91 days to cover. Shares are up 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING CO's earnings per share declined by 6.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.31 versus $1.85 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.87 versus $2.31).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.63, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.43 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • ESRX, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 16.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING CO's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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