Tips for Buyers – Lenders

Before you go out and start buying a home, you need to ask yourself: Which mortgage lender would be the best fit for my situation?!

These are the 4 Different Types of Mortgage Lenders you should know about:

  1. Depository Bank
  2. Mortgage Lender
  3. Correspondent Lender
  4. Broker

At the end of the video, I will give you my top picks for certain situations such as: Who is the best lender for Jumbo loans? For FHA/VA? For 100% financing? For refinancing?

We get a bunch of questions about Mortgages so I’m going to add a simple Playlist on YouTube answering the most asked. Here’s the first one, hopefully helpful. Call our office or me if you want to talk.

  • THE PRIES CAPITAL GROUP – Realty ONE Group Dockside
  • email: info@TinaPries.com
  • Tina: (843) 999-1570
  • Jason: (843) 945-0051

How To Pick Great Stocks (part 3)

This is part 3 of a 3-part series, enjoy…

Following these principles will help you become successful at long-term investing in stocks.

Over the long term…

Stocks have provided the best
return compared with bonds,
Treasury bills, and gold and
other commodities. Wall Street
argues otherwise, but Pries
Capital
 believes Main Street
investors can meet these major
goals by investing in the stock
market
 without relying on a
financial adviser or a brokerage
firm to recommend specific stocks.

A commonsense analysis process can help you invest profitably in high-quality stocks.

The article Common Traits of the Best Stocks discussed what to look for when picking stocks. You want companies that have…

  • Above-average sales and earnings growth.
  • Stable or growing profitability.
  • A current price, as measured by the price-earnings ratio, that’s reasonable.

If you see that a company has above-average sales and earnings growth — the more consistent, the better — and stable or growing profitability, there’s a good chance it’s a well-managed, high-quality company. You’ll then want to see whether the current stock price offers an appropriate potential return.

Pries Capital has molded these concepts into an investment strategy and stock selection analysis process that will help you buy individual stocks. Anyone with the determination to remain focused on long-term results can build a portfolio of around 10 to 20 stocks that has to potential to outperform the S&P 500 or another index fund.

Our process focuses on finding quality growth stocks selling at reasonable P/E ratios for long-term gain. Pries Capital’s approach to stock analysis is that sales drive earnings, and earnings drive stock prices. Some people trade on short-term up and down ticks in stock prices, but over the long-term fundamental analysis — studying a company’s financial performance — is what works in building wealth.

Since 1998 Jason and Tina Pries have used this stock selection process to study stocks, and there’s some math involved. But our investment clubs and analysis tools automatically give you the critical data from company financial statements and we do the calculations for you. So, after reading the article, learn more about our investment clubs and analysis tools and sample our education and resources for free.

Step 1: Forecast Long-Term Sales Growth

In the short term, the stock market may not reward individual stocks for their excellence. But over the long term, stocks prices move upward with earnings growth. So, it’s the long-term projections — five years, very roughly enough for the company to go through a business cycle — you’ll care about.

You start by forecasting five-year annual sales growth, because as we said, sales drive earnings. You’ll use this estimate to build your earnings projection. You have several data points at your disposal, including

  • The company’s historical growth rate.
  • Company statements regarding growth goals.
  • Wall Street estimates.
  • The industry’s historical growth rate and estimates of future expansion.

Step 2: Forecast Long-Term Earnings Growth

You then estimate five-year annual earnings growth considering the sales projection. You can consider the company’s history of earnings growth and any goals it has stated. You can also access analyst reports and analysts’ consensus estimates, but these forecasts are usually optimistic. Often the best move is to use a similar rate as the sales growth forecast.

The earnings growth rate determines the estimate of earnings per share five years from now. If you’ve estimated earnings growth of 15 percent a year, and the EPS at the starting point is $1, five years from now EPS will be $2.

Step 3: Estimate the Future High and Low Stock Price

The EPS estimate is critical for the next stage: determining whether the stock is reasonably priced. Investors are good at discovering high-quality stocks but often buy stocks at the wrong price.

Using historical P/Es as a guide, you forecast the high and low P/Es over the next five years. At this point you’re ready to estimate a potential high price for the stock. It’s simple math: You multiply the estimated EPS in five years by the forecast high P/E. For example, if you predict EPS will be $2 in five years and the high P/E will be 30, the predicted high price will be $60.

For the low price, you multiply the projected low P/E by the expected low EPS to come up with a potential low price. For a quality growth company, you usually assume that the most recent year’s EPS is the low. Pries Capital’s stock analysis process has other options for the low price, but this is the most common one.

Step 4: Determine the Individual Stock’s Return Expectations

After you determine the stock’s potential range over the next five years, you’re ready to see whether this stock will provide a suitable return. Our analysis divides the range into three zones: Buy, Hold, and Sell. The lowest 25 percent of the range is the Buy zone, and the uppermost 25 percent is the Sell zone. Again, we will usually handle the math for you here.

The stock’s dividends — the cash payments of earnings to shareholders — is included in return calculations. So, there are three ways to achieve a return on a stock: through dividends, through the market increasing the stock’s price in concert with the earnings growth and through the stock’s price rising because the market believes the P/E should be higher.

When picking stocks, aim for return of 15% annually on average over the next five years, or a doubling of return. That’s an aggressive target, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t meet it. The idea is to maintain your focus on buying stocks of high-quality, growing companies. Achieving returns of, say, 10 percent yearly — about the historical return of the S&P 500 — is commendable.

In today’s unpredictable, volatile market, fundamental analysis is even more important than usual. But for an individual investor using a simple, straightforward methodology that focuses on the long term, these are also times of great opportunity.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to successful stock investing? If so, contact our firm at 843-945-0051 and someone will be able to explain more in depth of what you need to know when it comes to becoming a consistently profitable individual stock investor! With that said, “We have great challenges & great opportunities, and with our help we’ll meet them together!” – Jason Pries

Common Traits of the Best Stocks (part 2)

This is part 2 of a 3-part series, enjoy…

Following these principles will help you become successful at long-term investing in stocks.

Over the long term…

Stocks have provided the best
return compared with bonds,
Treasury bills, and gold and
other commodities. Wall Street
argues otherwise, but Pries
Capital
believes Main Street
investors can meet these major
goals by investing in the stock
market
without relying on a
financial adviser or a brokerage
firm to recommend specific stocks.

The best growth companies to invest in share a set of common characteristics.

You face a perplexing selection of choices when you pick stocks. When looking for stocks to buy to meet long-term financial goals, however, you can narrow the field quickly. For an individual investor who works full time and who wants to follow a consistent investing strategy to find stocks, growth stocks are the best ones to buy. These companies are easy to identify, and they share a set of common characteristics.

Seek Growth Stocks with Above-Average Sales and Earnings Growth

Growth stocks increase revenues and earnings at faster rates than that of the general economy and most competitors in the same industry. The best stocks to buy are those of companies that tend to continue growing even when business conditions are weak; their growth might soften during these times, but they do better than their competitors. They also can outlast their rivals in downturns and thrive when the economy bounces back. Stock prices tend to follow a company’s earnings growth.

Consistent growth is also a plus. Pries Capital’s Stock To Study and analysis includes a graph of sales and earnings growth. Graph lines that go up and are straight are generally preferred to those that are shaped liked roller coasters. The consistency of growth is a sign of quality performance by the management team.

It’s important to consider growth in context of company size. You should expect smaller companies to grow at faster rates than larger ones. Look for small companies of less than $1 billion in annual revenues to grow sales and earnings at 12% or more a year. Midsize companies, with $1 billion to $10 billion in annual revenues, should be growing between 7% and 12% a year. Expect large companies, those with annual revenues above $10 billion, to grow by at least 5% a year.

Pick Stocks with Stable or Growing Profitability

A company’s above-average sales and earnings growth indicates that its management is solid. Another test of management is stable or growing profitability. Eroding profit margins, the percentage the company gets to keep of what it makes in sales, can be a sign that the company is in trouble. Find stocks of well-managed companies that can find ways to keep this from happening, such as by increasing prices or lowering costs. (By the way, when considering profit margins, look for the profitability before taxes. Management has limited capability to control tax rates.)

Stable or steadily increasing pretax profit margins show that management can balance growing sales while containing or even decreasing costs.

Another test of management is the percent earned on equity, or return on equity, or ROE. That’s the return management achieves on investors’ money (including earnings retained in the business). ROE indicates how well management is employing a company’s resources contributed by shareholders’ money and earnings invested back into the company to create new assets that grow sales. The best stocks to buy are those of growth companies with stable or growing ROE.

Check a company’s pretax profitability and ROE histories against those of competitors. You want to find stocks that are the best in their industry for these management measures. Pries Capital subscribers get stock ideas from our online tools, education, and resources, which in some cases you can sample free.

You should also study company debt. High debt levels can be risky, because companies continue to pay debt obligations regardless of business conditions; conditions can become so severe that a company can no longer pay its debt and goes out of business. In general, look for stocks to buy of companies with a ratio of debt to total capital that’s less than 33%.

There are exceptions, though. Compare a company’s debt percentage to the industry average. Some industries, such as banks, financial institutions, and utilities, typically operate using higher levels of debt. Some successful companies in other industries have proven they can carry high debt over many years.

Buy Stocks with Reasonable Price-Earnings Ratios

Once you’ve determined you’re studying a quality company, you’ll need to make sure you’re selecting a stock to buy that’s selling at a reasonable price. We walk through Pries Capital’s stock analysis process, which helps you identify investments with suitable return potential, in How to Pick a Great Stock.

Paying too much for a great growth stock will hurt your long-term return. The cornerstone of stock price analysis is the price-earnings ratio. The P/E is the price you’ll pay for a dollar of a stock’s earnings and helps you compare stock prices.

Study the current price-earnings ratio — the earnings per share from the past four quarters divided by the share price — relative to the P/E history to help determine whether the stock is selling at price that will help you employ your investment strategy.

Stocks selling at wildly high P/Es — say, 50 and above — tend to provide poor returns. Stocks with P/Es above their historical range can also prove disappointing.

Pries Capital’s Investment Club courses for stock selection and analysis can help you make sense of this data and walk you through the two key questions to ask:

  1. Is this a well-managed growth company?
  2. Is the stock selling at a reasonable price?

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to successful stock investing? If so, contact our firm at 843-945-0051 and someone will be able to explain more in depth of what you need to know when it comes to becoming a consistently profitable individual stock investor! With that said, “We have great challenges & great opportunities, and with our help we’ll meet them together!” – Jason Pries

6 Steps for Successful Stock Investing (part 1)

This is part 1 of a 3-part series, enjoy…

Following these principles will help you become successful at long-term investing in stocks.

Over the long term…

Stocks have provided the best
return compared with bonds,
Treasury bills, and gold and
other commodities. Wall Street
argues otherwise, but Pries
Capital
believes Main Street
investors can meet these major
goals by investing in the stock
market
without relying on a
financial adviser or a brokerage
firm to recommend specific stocks.

Whatever your financial goals are — such as funding retirement, saving for your children’s college education, or buying a home — investing in stocks should play a critical role.

Though you can benefit from mutual funds and index funds composed of stocks, Pries Capital believes that ownership of individual stocks can lead to more profitable investing. Any investor willing to dedicate a few hours a month and a set amount monthly can buy stocks by applying commonsense principles and a consistent approach to identifying quality companies whose common stocks are selling at reasonable prices. The following are the main principles for successful long-term investing.

1. Buy Stocks Regularly, Regardless of the Market Outlook

Trying to guess the stock market’s direction so that you’re investing in stocks when share prices are low and selling stocks when prices are high has never worked. Despite the stock market’s gyrations, stock prices over the long term have continued to increase — about 10% a year, historically. So, investors are better off taking the long view and investing a set amount regularly, not matter what the market is doing, and Wall Street analysts are saying.

This method, called dollar-cost averaging, means you automatically buy more shares of a stock when the price is lower and fewer when the price is higher. The result is a lower average purchase price and a higher overall return.

Here’s an example of how you can benefit from regular investing. Say you buy $100 of a stock on the first day of the month over five months. The share prices on the day you buy the stocks are, in order, $10, $12.50, $8, $12, and $15. So, when you invest $100 to buy a stock when shares are at $10, you purchase 10 shares; when you invest $100 when shares are at $12.50, you purchase 8.33 shares; and so on.

At the end of five months, you have 45.82 shares of the stock, and the stock is currently selling at $15. The average price you paid for a share was $10.91, while shares now sell for $15. Not a bad profit — you didn’t buy all the shares at their lowest point, sure, but how could you possibly know what the low price would be?

2. Reinvest All Earnings to Meet Long-Term Financial Goals

Plowing the earnings, you receive from investing in individual stocks (from selling stocks at a profit or receiving dividends from current holdings) is a great way to charge up your portfolio. Over the years reinvesting those seemingly insignificant dividend payments as well as your gains from selling appreciated stock (the capital gains) can lead to tremendous growth in portfolio value via the magic of compounding.

Here’s an example of the compounding’s power. If you invested $1,000 in the S&P 500 index on Jan. 1, 1978, and spent all the dividends you received, you would have amassed $26,360 by Dec. 31, 2018. But if you had reinvested those dividends, you would have had $61,639. And if you would have invested $50 a month over that time, your total would have been $349,553.

3. Invest in Stocks of Quality Growth Companies

Pries Capital’s principles work best when applied to quality growth companies. Growth companies generally increase their revenues and earnings faster than the combined rates of growth for the overall economy and inflation. The ones to focus on also grow faster than other companies in their industry.

With quality growth companies, sales growth leads to earnings growth. And earnings growth leads to growth in share prices. Pries Capital can help you identify quality growth stocks, and we discuss the hallmarks of these stocks in the article Common Traits of the Best Stocks.

4. Diversify Your Investments in the Stock Market to Reduce Risk

Investing is a humbling activity: We all make mistakes. Even if you buy stocks only after a thorough study, be prepared for one out of every five stocks you buy to perform worse than expected. (Also expect three to do about as you expected, and one to do much better than you forecast.)

So, diversify your investments to limit the damage an underperforming stock can do. You’ll want to own stocks not only in different industries but also of different company sizes. Don’t buy so many stocks, however, that your portfolio looks like an S&P 500 index fund. Pries Capital suggests that you need only around 10 to maybe 20 companies of different sizes from at least 10 to 12 unrelated industries to reduce the risk in your portfolio. A good rule of thumb is not to own more stocks than you can follow.

5. Follow a Consistent Approach to Analysis of Common Stocks

Warren Buffett has always studied potential investments the same way. So has legendary mutual fund manager Peter Lynch. The great investors all might have different ways to find stocks, but they all maintain a consistent philosophy, no matter what the market is doing.

Pries Capital’s approach to stock analysis hasn’t changed since Jason and Tina’s development in 1998. We ask ourselves two questions when studying a stock: Is this a quality company? and Is the stock selling at a reasonable price? Our stock selection process helps you answer these two questions. You can learn more about how we identify stocks to buy in How to Pick Great Stocks — or try out our free resources, tools, and education.

6. Shut Out the Noise from Wall Street

With financial news channels, websites and social media platforms, you can follow the stock market’s and your individual stocks’ daily movements. But we don’t recommend doing so. When the market’s down, the financial news networks tend to specialize in negative stories that create a mood of fear. When the market’s up, the ebullience can convince you that any stock is worth buying at any price.

Very little of this conversation helps you invest for retirement or meet other long-term financial goals. Stay focused on company fundamentals — sales, earnings, and profitability.

Still interested in understanding more when it comes to successful stock investing? If so, contact our firm at 843-945-0051 and someone will be able to explain more in depth of what you need to know when it comes to becoming a consistently profitable individual stock investor! With that said, “We have great challenges & great opportunities, and with our help we’ll meet them together!” – Jason Pries

Stock To Study

Pries Capital – An Investment Firm rates QUALYS INC (QLYS) a BUY.

By the Numbers

QLYS
Qualys, Inc.
Information Technology
Click Here for
Pries Capital “Stock To
Study
data sheet.

This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Qualys, Inc. is a provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions. The Company’s solutions enable organizations to identify security risks to their information technology (IT) infrastructures, help protect their IT systems and applications from cyber-attacks. Its suite of security and compliance solutions delivered on its Qualys Cloud Platform enables its customers to identify their IT assets, collect and analyze IT security data, discover and prioritize vulnerabilities, recommend remediation actions and verify the implementation of such actions. Its Qualys Cloud Platform consists of a suite of IT security and compliance solutions. The Qualys Cloud Suite includes solutions, such as Vulnerability Management, Continuous Monitoring, Cloud Agent, AssetView, ThreatPROTECT, Policy Compliance, Payment Card Industry Compliance, Security Assessment Questionnaire, Web Application Scanning and Web Application Firewall. It provides its solutions through a software-as-a-service model.

HIGHLIGHTS

The data shows strong and consistent growth of sales and EPS. Historical growth exceeds the 12% growth we expect for a small size company. Percent pre-tax profit on sales is steady over the last 5 years, averaging 18.4%. Percent return on equity has increased over the last 4 years to 18.2% in 2019. Qualys carries a low debt to capital of 11.8% in 2019 against the industry average of 44.7%, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.

The company markets and sells its IT security and compliance solutions to customers directly through its sales teams, as well as indirectly through its network of channel partners, such as security consulting organizations, managed service providers and resellers, and consulting firms. It serves enterprises, government entities, and small and medium-sized businesses in various industries, including education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media, retail, technology, and utilities.

VALUATION

Our forecasted growth rate for sales is 11.1%, some analysts’ forecasts for sales growth range from 11% to about 16%, and we selected a growth rate in the low of this range to be conservative. The company has grown sales and net income during the past quarter when compared with the same quarter a year ago, however, it was unable to keep up with the growth of the average competitor within its subsector. The selected rate is supported by the historical growth and the various analyst estimates found in the research process.

Our forecasted growth rate for earnings per share is 17.8%, a little conservative against the current 22.6%, but better than the five-year average sitting at 15.5%. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue.

Our forecasted high P/E is 52.4 below the average high P/E of 67.7. We reviewed the five-year history and took out 2015 as an outlier. We selected 52.4 as it has just been the average price earnings ratio and given the backdrop of the most recent macro conditions, we have been lowering future growth expectations across the board.

Our forecasted low P/E is 37.1, right in line with the average low P/E for the last four-years. Similarly, to the forecasted high P/E, we took out 2015 as an outlier in the metrics. Going back to our judgments into the future, as we have been lowering future growth expectations across the board, we do not believe the underline is deteriorating.

Our forecasted low price is $62.30. This value was selected from the 4B(a) calculation (Average low P/E times Low EPS) as the forecasted low price. The low EPS is adjusted to the most recent 4 quarters of EPS. The calculated value of $62.30 provides a reasonable margin of safety below the current price ($71.35).

CONCLUSION

  • At the current price, the stock is a BUY
  • At the current price, the upside-downside ratio is 14.2:1
  • Compound Annual Return (using forecast high P/E) is 22.8%

DISCLAIMER

This report is for information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The final recommendation is always to do your own research, complete your own stock to study and make sure you are comfortable with your forward-looking forecasts before making any buy or sell decisions. Neither Pries Capital nor any other party guarantees its accuracy or makes warranties regarding results from its usage. Redistribution is prohibited without the express written consent of Pries Capital, Inc. Copyright(c) 2011-2020. All rights reserved.

With that said, “We have great challenges & great opportunities, and with our help we’ll meet them together!” – Jason Pries