How to use a stock market screener

A stock market screener is a tool that allows you to search for stocks based on criteria that you set. A screener can be useful for finding stocks that may be undervalued.

Personally, I use the yahoo stock screener as it is free and allows you to perform very in depth searches. There is a html and java version.

Most stock screening software allows you to search stocks based on many different criteria including:

  • Stock Exchange
  • Industry
  • Sector
  • Number of employees
  • Trading volume
  • Valuation measurements like P/E ratios, market cap etc
  • Dividend yield
  • Balance sheet items like price book ratio, cash per share, total debt etc
  • Profitability
  • Growth
  • Cash flow

This really is only the tip of the iceberg too. You really can get into some very complex searches.

Let’s say we wanted to find all the gold companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that meet the following criteria:

  • Market cap above 10bn
  • Gold industry stocks
  • Traded on the NYSE

Below is a screenshot of the search using yahoo stock screener:
yahoo stock market screener
Once you have made the search, you then then sort them into any order you like. In the example above I have sorted the results into the order of market cap, highest first. You can see Barrick gold CP has the highest market cap of 31.883bn.

At this point you can find out more about the stock by entering the ticker (shown on the left in the example) into your trading software or use google finance.