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Philip van Doorn

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April 25, 2019, 7:25 a.m. EDT

Like Amazon, these stocks have 100% buy ratings from analysts

Only one other S&P 500 stock has all ‘buy’ ratings from analysts, but a further search identifies dozens more

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By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch


Bloomberg
All 11 sell-side analysts covering Dave & Buster's Entertainment rate the stock a ‘buy.’

All 45 sell-side analysts who cover Amazon.com rate the stock a “buy.” That is incredible, considering the shares trade for about 71 times the forward consensus earnings estimate, more than four times that of the benchmark S&P 500 Index.

How high are the forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios for other highly rated stocks? How risky might it be to follow the investing herd and jump in?

Tomi Kilgore wrote about the risks associated with such strong sentiment for Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.79% , as well as opportunities for short-term traders wishing to “play” the internet retail giant’s first-quarter earnings report Thursday after the stock market closes.

Among the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.12% , a “perfect” list of sell-side ratings is a rarity. Only one company besides Amazon is rated “buy” or the equivalent by all analysts polled by FactSet: Marathon Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite MPC +0.50%  has top ratings among all 19 analysts covering the company. Its shares trade at a forward P/E ratio of only 10.7. Marathon was recently included in this list from Barron’s: “10 stocks with safe, generous dividends.”

Reluctant to say ‘sell’

There is a reason why it is important to distinguish sell-side analysts (most of whom work for brokers who want their customers to buy shares) and buy-side analysts, who work for money managers. The sell-side tends to be bright and sunny: Only two companies among the S&P 500 have majority “sell” or equivalent ratings:

• Campbell Soup /zigman2/quotes/202107764/composite CPB -0.33%  Nine of 16 analysts rate the stock a “sell” or the equivalent. The shares trade at a forward P/E ratio of 15.8. Interestingly, the shares are up 20% this year (including reinvested dividends), following a 29% drop in 2018. As part of its effort to simplify its business, Campbell announced a deal to sell its Bolthouse Farms unit to Butterfly Equity for $510 million. Here’s a look at Campbell’s turnaround attempt and the results so far.

• Franklin Resources /zigman2/quotes/201997162/composite BEN +1.05%  The holding company of Franklin Templeton Investments is rated a “sell” or the equivalent by eight of 15 analysts polled by FactSet. The shares trade for 13.7 times the consensus forward earnings estimate. This is another recovery story so far in 2019, with the shares returning 20.5% after sliding 23% in 2018.

Looking for ‘perfect’ sets of ratings

If we expand our list to the S&P 1500 Composite Index, which includes the S&P 500, the Small-Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML -0.60%  and the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index /zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite MID +0.29% , there are 93 companies that all analysts consider a buy. That is a tremendous number. However, many are covered by a small number of analysts.

So here are the 39 stocks among the S&P 1500 that are covered by at least five analysts, with all rating the shares “buy” or the equivalent. The list is sorted by ascending forward price-to-earnings ratio.

Company Ticker Forward P/E ratio Number of analysts Closing price - April 23 Consensus price target Implied 12-month upside potential
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite LGND 4.0 6 $128.38 $212.40 65%
Mercer International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206874586/composite MERC 6.4 6 $14.10 $22.50 60%
SLM Corp /zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite SLM 7.7 12 $9.93 $13.79 39%
Ameris Bancorp /zigman2/quotes/208317759/composite ABCB 8.3 6 $35.26 $47.21 34%
Enova International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203319837/composite ENVA 8.3 5 $25.83 $34.20 32%
Conn's Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206772377/composite CONN 8.9 6 $24.76 $36.50 47%
SYNNEX Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208755595/composite SNX 9.0 8 $107.65 $127.14 18%
Veritex Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201489855/composite VBTX 10.4 6 $25.94 $32.33 25%
Redwood Trust Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204538394/composite RWT 10.4 6 $16.40 $17.92 9%
Marathon Petroleum Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite MPC 10.7 19 $61.06 $88.59 45%
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210451852/composite RYAM 11.9 6 $15.49 $20.50 32%
G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201364718/composite GIII 12.9 9 $42.53 $48.89 15%
Lumentum Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite LITE 13.7 17 $62.09 $69.19 11%
Ultra Clean Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208969279/composite UCTT 14.0 5 $12.13 $15.40 27%
Ichor Holdings, Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207291086/composite ICHR 14.4 6 $24.87 $25.83 4%
Helen of Troy Limited /zigman2/quotes/205565021/composite HELE 14.7 5 $116.60 $142.60 22%
LCI Industries /zigman2/quotes/208281861/composite LCII 15.5 7 $91.67 $93.17 2%
First BanCorp (Puerto Rico) /zigman2/quotes/202320876/composite FBP 15.7 6 $11.56 $12.92 12%
Archrock Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206867288/composite AROC 16.0 5 $10.86 $14.25 31%
Harsco Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208039417/composite HSC 16.3 5 $22.75 $31.50 38%
Perficient Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201848718/composite PRFT 16.8 6 $28.75 $33.50 17%
Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203157296/composite PLAY 17.5 11 $54.02 $63.10 17%
Brink's Co. /zigman2/quotes/203540504/composite BCO 17.8 6 $81.07 $98.20 21%
QuinStreet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202100806/composite QNST 20.1 6 $13.86 $19.85 43%
Virtusa Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205784302/composite VRTU 20.5 8 $54.39 $63.71 17%
Addus HomeCare Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203511287/composite ADUS 29.0 7 $65.02 $77.86 20%
Apergy Corp. 29.0 12 $43.00 $46.70 9%
Cubic Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204118116/composite CUB 29.0 7 $56.17 $77.17 37%
Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201162236/composite HLX 29.8 8 $8.58 $10.58 23%
BioTelemetry Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204463018/composite BEAT 30.5 6 $58.57 $83.83 43%
Monolithic Power Systems Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204177258/composite MPWR 38.2 10 $154.70 $151.00 -2%
Digi International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203836067/composite DGII 44.9 7 $13.04 $17.29 33%
InterDigital Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200883544/composite IDCC 60.3 5 $66.56 $95.40 43%
Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN 70.7 45 $1,923.77 $2,128.32 11%
DSP Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204384782/composite DSPG 71.7 5 $14.76 $15.40 4%
NeoGenomics Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202492506/composite NEO 84.4 9 $20.17 $22.50 12%
LivePerson Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203565636/composite LPSN N/A 12 $28.79 $33.42 16%
Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. N/A 6 $5.07 $10.08 99%
Green Plains Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204775795/composite GPRE N/A 5 $17.21 $20.20 17%
Source; FactSet

You can click on the tickers for more on each company, including business profiles and stock performance.

There are no forward P/E ratios for the last three companies on this list because analysts expect their combined earnings for the next 12 reported months to be negative.

The ratings alone never mean anyone should simply take the plunge. But they can serve as a starting point for your own detailed research.

Don’t miss: You can find plenty of solid stock bargains in this year’s worst-performing sector, analysts say

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/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,954.91
-53.82 -1.79%
Volume: 8.89M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
113.58
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1480.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,319.47
-37.54 -1.12%
Volume: 4.09B
Sept. 18, 2020 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 32.28
+0.16 +0.50%
Volume: 12.11M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.19%
Market Cap
$21.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
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/zigman2/quotes/202107764/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.44
-0.15 -0.33%
Volume: 7.98M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.00
Dividend Yield
3.08%
Market Cap
$13.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$423,957
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/zigman2/quotes/201997162/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 21.22
+0.22 +1.05%
Volume: 5.45M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.35
Dividend Yield
5.09%
Market Cap
$10.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$616,773
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/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
870.57
-5.29 -0.60%
Volume: 1.05B
Sept. 18, 2020 5:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 40.98
+0.12 +0.29%
Volume: 250.00
Sept. 18, 2020 12:33p
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/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 92.08
-2.07 -2.20%
Volume: 399,303
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.17M
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/zigman2/quotes/206874586/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 7.31
+0.05 +0.69%
Volume: 704,743
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.56%
Market Cap
$481.50 million
Rev. per Employee
$659,601
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/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 8.13
-0.09 -1.09%
Volume: 7.26M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.51
Dividend Yield
1.48%
Market Cap
$3.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
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/zigman2/quotes/208317759/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 23.00
-0.64 -2.69%
Volume: 1.14M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.92
Dividend Yield
2.61%
Market Cap
$1.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$293,335
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/zigman2/quotes/203319837/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 16.55
-0.09 -0.54%
Volume: 639,905
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.14
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$498.31 million
Rev. per Employee
$914,675
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/zigman2/quotes/206772377/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 9.96
-0.23 -2.21%
Volume: 699,239
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$290.18 million
Rev. per Employee
$361,698
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/zigman2/quotes/208755595/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 132.89
+0.22 +0.17%
Volume: 691,742
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
14.31
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$86,588
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/zigman2/quotes/201489855/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.96
-0.60 -3.42%
Volume: 1.16M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.41
Dividend Yield
4.01%
Market Cap
$842.02 million
Rev. per Employee
$472,088
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/zigman2/quotes/204538394/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.98
-0.02 -0.25%
Volume: 2.81M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.02%
Market Cap
$917.26 million
Rev. per Employee
$2.83M
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/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 32.28
+0.16 +0.50%
Volume: 12.11M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.19%
Market Cap
$21.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
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/zigman2/quotes/210451852/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 4.64
+0.15 +3.34%
Volume: 2.96M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$293.95 million
Rev. per Employee
$508,194
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/zigman2/quotes/201364718/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 14.98
+0.21 +1.42%
Volume: 1.71M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.97
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$724.41 million
Rev. per Employee
$339,126
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 71.51
+0.62 +0.87%
Volume: 1.81M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
41.06
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$453,140
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208969279/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 20.36
-0.11 -0.54%
Volume: 795,690
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
40.10
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$812.36 million
Rev. per Employee
$256,197
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/zigman2/quotes/207291086/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 21.39
-0.35 -1.61%
Volume: 505,737
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
25.82
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$490.89 million
Rev. per Employee
$552,759
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/zigman2/quotes/205565021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 194.80
-1.62 -0.82%
Volume: 449,330
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.73
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208281861/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 107.27
+0.82 +0.77%
Volume: 474,727
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
25.47
Dividend Yield
2.80%
Market Cap
$2.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
$241,307
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202320876/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.64
-0.01 -0.18%
Volume: 4.46M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.83
Dividend Yield
3.55%
Market Cap
$1.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$270,489
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206867288/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.95
-0.06 -1.00%
Volume: 2.38M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
9.75%
Market Cap
$910.05 million
Rev. per Employee
$532,024
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/zigman2/quotes/208039417/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 15.34
-0.03 -0.20%
Volume: 1.41M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$174,016
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/zigman2/quotes/201848718/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 42.60
-0.22 -0.51%
Volume: 590,745
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
37.26
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$162,868
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203157296/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.47
+2.35 +16.64%
Volume: 24.26M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$781.55 million
Rev. per Employee
$83,452
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/zigman2/quotes/203540504/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.52
-0.41 -0.89%
Volume: 887,057
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
133.18
Dividend Yield
1.32%
Market Cap
$2.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$55,912
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/zigman2/quotes/202100806/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 15.17
+0.22 +1.44%
Volume: 714,498
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
44.76
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$798.69 million
Rev. per Employee
$882,235
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/zigman2/quotes/205784302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 50.51
-0.14 -0.27%
Volume: 1.19M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
42.06
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$58,573
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/zigman2/quotes/203511287/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 96.33
+0.25 +0.26%
Volume: 341,973
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
49.40
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
$15,628
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/zigman2/quotes/204118116/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 44.37
-1.34 -2.93%
Volume: 674,596
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.61%
Market Cap
$1.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$224,958
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/zigman2/quotes/201162236/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 3.06
-0.03 -0.97%
Volume: 6.31M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
14.87
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$459.18 million
Rev. per Employee
$478,537
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/zigman2/quotes/204463018/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 45.13
+2.13 +4.95%
Volume: 1.22M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
85.52
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$266,315
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/zigman2/quotes/204177258/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 253.94
+1.83 +0.73%
Volume: 635,839
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
92.27
Dividend Yield
0.79%
Market Cap
$11.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$335,280
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/zigman2/quotes/203836067/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 15.39
+0.89 +6.14%
Volume: 501,427
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
71.71
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$446.86 million
Rev. per Employee
$475,740
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200883544/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 58.98
-0.17 -0.29%
Volume: 451,164
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
47.80
Dividend Yield
2.37%
Market Cap
$1.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$788,215
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/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,954.91
-53.82 -1.79%
Volume: 8.89M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
113.58
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1480.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
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/zigman2/quotes/204384782/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 13.60
+0.22 +1.64%
Volume: 553,985
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$319.81 million
Rev. per Employee
$366,994
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/zigman2/quotes/202492506/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 35.83
+0.97 +2.78%
Volume: 1.79M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
$184,494
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/zigman2/quotes/203565636/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 47.89
+0.12 +0.25%
Volume: 923,949
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$254,677
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/zigman2/quotes/204775795/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 15.01
+0.07 +0.47%
Volume: 1.47M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$535.16 million
Rev. per Employee
$3.20M
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Philip van Doorn covers various investment and industry topics. He has previously worked as a senior analyst at TheStreet.com. He also has experience in community banking and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

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