# Stocks to Watch: Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR), TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS): Are Shares Undervalued?

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) has a current MF Rank of 17363. Developed by hedge fund manager Joel Greenblatt, the intention of the formula is to spot high quality companies that are trading at an attractive price. The formula uses ROIC and earnings yield ratios to find quality, undervalued stocks. In general, companies with the lowest combined rank may be the higher quality picks.

When undertaking stock analysis, investors might be searching for companies that are presently undervalued. Undervalued stocks may provide a higher chance of realizing big gains. Finding undervalued stocks that are high quality can be the biggest challenge for the investor. Many investors will dig into the numbers and look for companies that have been consistently making lots of money and performing well on the earnings front.

Free Cash Flow Growth (FCF Growth) is the free cash flow of the current year minus the free cash flow from the previous year, divided by last year’s free cash flow. The FCF Growth of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -1.617191. Free cash flow (FCF) is the cash produced by the company minus capital expenditure. This cash is what a company uses to meet its financial obligations, such as making payments on debt or to pay out dividends.

The Free Cash Flow Score (FCF Score) is a helpful tool in calculating the free cash flow growth with free cash flow stability – this gives investors the overall quality of the free cash flow. The FCF Score of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -0.349539. Experts say the higher the value, the better, as it means that the free cash flow is high, or the variability of free cash flow is low or both.

The Return on Invested Capital (aka ROIC) for Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -3.142820. The Return on Invested Capital is a ratio that determines whether a company is profitable or not. It tells investors how well a company is turning their capital into profits. The ROIC is calculated by dividing the net operating profit (or EBIT) by the employed capital. The employed capital is calculated by subrating current liabilities from total assets. Similarly, the Return on Invested Capital Quality ratio is a tool in evaluating the quality of a company’s ROIC over the course of five years. The ROIC Quality of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -1.758609. This is calculated by dividing the five year average ROIC by the Standard Deviation of the 5 year ROIC. The ROIC 5 year average is calculated using the five year average EBIT, five year average (net working capital and net fixed assets). The ROIC 5 year average of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -1.162124.

**Shareholder Yield**

The Shareholder Yield is a way that investors can see how much money shareholders are receiving from a company through a combination of dividends, share repurchases and debt reduction. The Shareholder Yield of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is -0.023399. This percentage is calculated by adding the dividend yield plus the percentage of shares repurchased. Dividends are a common way that companies distribute cash to their shareholders. Similarly, cash repurchases and a reduction of debt can increase the shareholder value, too. Another way to determine the effectiveness of a company’s distributions is by looking at the Shareholder yield (Mebane Faber). The Shareholder Yield (Mebane Faber) of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. NasdaqGM:ESPR is -0.00495. This number is calculated by looking at the sum of the dividend yield plus percentage of sales repurchased and net debt repaid yield.

The Value Composite One (VC1) is a method that investors use to determine a company’s value. The VC1 of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is 89. A company with a value of 0 is thought to be an undervalued company, while a company with a value of 100 is considered an overvalued company. The VC1 is calculated using the price to book value, price to sales, EBITDA to EV, price to cash flow, and price to earnings. Similarly, the Value Composite Two (VC2) is calculated with the same ratios, but adds the Shareholder Yield. The Value Composite Two of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is 88.

Investors may be interested in viewing the Gross Margin score on shares of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR). The name currently has a score of 50.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative.

**ERP5 Rank**

The ERP5 Rank is an investment tool that analysts use to discover undervalued companies. The ERP5 looks at the Price to Book ratio, Earnings Yield, ROIC and 5 year average ROIC. The ERP5 of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) is 17464. The lower the ERP5 rank, the more undervalued a company is thought to be.

**C-Score – Montier**

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) currently has a Montier C-score of -1.00000. This indicator was developed by James Montier in an attempt to identify firms that were cooking the books in order to appear better on paper. The score ranges from zero to six where a 0 would indicate no evidence of book cooking, and a 6 would indicate a high likelihood. A C-score of -1 would indicate that there is not enough information available to calculate the score. Montier used six inputs in the calculation. These inputs included a growing difference between net income and cash flow from operations, increasing receivable days, growing day’s sales of inventory, increasing other current assets, decrease in depreciation relative to gross property plant and equipment, and high total asset growth.

**F Score**

At the time of writing, Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGM:ESPR) has a Piotroski F-Score of 3. The F-Score may help discover companies with strengthening balance sheets. The score may also be used to spot the weak performers. Joseph Piotroski developed the F-Score which employs nine different variables based on the company financial statement. A single point is assigned to each test that a stock passes. Typically, a stock scoring an 8 or 9 would be seen as strong. On the other end, a stock with a score from 0-2 would be viewed as weak.

Investors may be looking ahead to the next couple of quarters trying to gauge whether the bulls will stay in charge or if the bears will start to take over. Of course, nobody knows for sure which way the market will turn, but being ready for any situation can greatly help the investor prepare. Many investors will be trying to find that balance between being too aggressive and too conservative with stock selection. This can be a tricky aspect to address as there are so many different factors that can come into play. Studying the important pieces of economic data on a regular basis can help with crafting a legitimate hypothesis about where stocks will be in the future.

The MF Rank developed by hedge fund manager Joel Greenblatt, is intended spot high quality companies that are trading at an attractive price. The formula uses ROIC and earnings yield ratios to find quality, undervalued stocks. In general, companies with the lowest combined rank may be the higher quality picks. TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) has a current MF Rank of 6288.

Some investors will scour the markets looking for cheap, quality stocks. These stocks can be attractive for investors looking to find a bargain that could turn into a big winner. Investors may be cautious when searching for these types of stocks. Often times, a stock will see a huge jump and then everyone will hop on the bandwagon to buy without checking into the fundamentals. Sometimes this strategy may work out, but in many cases, the stock has already made the run and become too expensive to add to the portfolio. Conducting diligent research and constantly adding to the individual’s overall market education level may help the investor sift through the sea of stocks and find those names that are really worth getting into.

Free Cash Flow Growth (FCF Growth) is the free cash flow of the current year minus the free cash flow from the previous year, divided by last year’s free cash flow. The FCF Growth of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is -1.000000. Free cash flow (FCF) is the cash produced by the company minus capital expenditure. This cash is what a company uses to meet its financial obligations, such as making payments on debt or to pay out dividends. The Free Cash Flow Score (FCF Score) is a helpful tool in calculating the free cash flow growth with free cash flow stability – this gives investors the overall quality of the free cash flow. The FCF Score of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is -0.123238. Experts say the higher the value, the better, as it means that the free cash flow is high, or the variability of free cash flow is low or both.

Investors may be interested in viewing the Gross Margin score on shares of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS). The name currently has a score of 6.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative.

The Return on Invested Capital (aka ROIC) for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 0.155322. The Return on Invested Capital is a ratio that determines whether a company is profitable or not. It tells investors how well a company is turning their capital into profits. The ROIC is calculated by dividing the net operating profit (or EBIT) by the employed capital. The employed capital is calculated by subrating current liabilities from total assets. Similarly, the Return on Invested Capital Quality ratio is a tool in evaluating the quality of a company’s ROIC over the course of five years. The ROIC Quality of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 11.024401. This is calculated by dividing the five year average ROIC by the Standard Deviation of the 5 year ROIC. The ROIC 5 year average is calculated using the five year average EBIT, five year average (net working capital and net fixed assets). The ROIC 5 year average of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 0.190789.

**Shareholder Yield**

The Shareholder Yield is a way that investors can see how much money shareholders are receiving from a company through a combination of dividends, share repurchases and debt reduction. The Shareholder Yield of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 0.021288. This percentage is calculated by adding the dividend yield plus the percentage of shares repurchased. Dividends are a common way that companies distribute cash to their shareholders. Similarly, cash repurchases and a reduction of debt can increase the shareholder value, too. Another way to determine the effectiveness of a company’s distributions is by looking at the Shareholder yield (Mebane Faber). The Shareholder Yield (Mebane Faber) of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. NYSE:THS is 0.07628. This number is calculated by looking at the sum of the dividend yield plus percentage of sales repurchased and net debt repaid yield.

The Value Composite One (VC1) is a method that investors use to determine a company’s value. The VC1 of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 44. A company with a value of 0 is thought to be an undervalued company, while a company with a value of 100 is considered an overvalued company. The VC1 is calculated using the price to book value, price to sales, EBITDA to EV, price to cash flow, and price to earnings. Similarly, the Value Composite Two (VC2) is calculated with the same ratios, but adds the Shareholder Yield. The Value Composite Two of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is 39.

**Key Ratios**

TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) presently has a current ratio of 1.70. The current ratio, also known as the working capital ratio, is a liquidity ratio that displays the proportion of current assets of a business relative to the current liabilities. The ratio is simply calculated by dividing current liabilities by current assets. The ratio may be used to provide an idea of the ability of a certain company to pay back its liabilities with assets. Typically, the higher the current ratio the better, as the company may be more capable of paying back its obligations.

TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS)’s Leverage Ratio was recently noted as 0.404022. This ratio is calculated by dividing total debt by total assets plus total assets previous year, divided by two. The leverage of a company is relative to the amount of debt on the balance sheet. This ratio is often viewed as one measure of the financial health of a firm.

The Price to book ratio is the current share price of a company divided by the book value per share. The Price to Book ratio for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. NYSE:THS is 1.675563. A lower price to book ratio indicates that the stock might be undervalued. Similarly, Price to cash flow ratio is another helpful ratio in determining a company’s value. The Price to Cash Flow for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is . This ratio is calculated by dividing the market value of a company by cash from operating activities. Additionally, the price to earnings ratio is another popular way for analysts and investors to determine a company’s profitability. The price to earnings ratio for TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE:THS) is -58.450975. This ratio is found by taking the current share price and dividing by earnings per share.

When it comes to investing in the equity market, discipline can play a major role in achieving ones goals. A few bad moves can send the investor’s confidence spiraling. Acting purely on emotion can lead to impulsive decisions that may cause the losses to pile up. Creating a solid plan and following through with the plan can help investors stay on track and focus on the proper details. Markets are constantly going up and down and the investing ride can sometimes be a bumpy one. Being able to see the big picture and focus on the important data can help keep the investor tuned in to the right channel. Investors who expect to jump into the market and immediately start raking in the profits may find out fairly quickly that trading without a plan can be a recipe for defeat.