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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 +0.22% , 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 +0.0020% , 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 +0.30%  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 +0.06%  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 +0.41%  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 -0.52%  and the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index /zigman2/quotes/210599897/delayed MID -0.19% , 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. /zigman2/quotes/205349782/composite APY 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. /zigman2/quotes/204482576/composite PGNX 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

<STRONG>Create an email alert for Philip van Doorn’s Deep Dive columns <INTERNAL-PAGE URL="/tools/alerts/newsColumn.asp">here</INTERNAL-PAGE>.</STRONG>

/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,821.50
+4.04 +0.22%
Volume: 2.08M
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
75.57
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$901.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,006.79
+0.06 +0.0020%
Volume: 1.55B
Sept. 19, 2019 5:17p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 53.92
+0.16 +0.30%
Volume: 3.64M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
11.68
Dividend Yield
3.93%
Market Cap
$35.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
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/zigman2/quotes/202107764/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 46.61
+0.03 +0.06%
Volume: 1.89M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
54.60
Dividend Yield
3.00%
Market Cap
$14.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$423,957
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/zigman2/quotes/201997162/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 29.56
+0.12 +0.41%
Volume: 2.36M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.95
Dividend Yield
3.52%
Market Cap
$14.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$616,773
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/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
965.34
-5.00 -0.52%
Volume: 424.45M
Sept. 19, 2019 5:17p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599897/delayed
US : S&P US
1,949.66
-3.77 -0.19%
Volume: 654.58M
Sept. 19, 2019 5:17p
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/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 104.69
+5.42 +5.46%
Volume: 849,001
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
3.34
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.17M
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/zigman2/quotes/206874586/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 12.72
-0.39 -2.97%
Volume: 353,423
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.66
Dividend Yield
4.32%
Market Cap
$834.81 million
Rev. per Employee
$659,601
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/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 9.62
+0.15 +1.58%
Volume: 4.20M
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.73
Dividend Yield
1.25%
Market Cap
$4.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
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/zigman2/quotes/208317759/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 39.15
-0.40 -1.01%
Volume: 392,655
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.38
Dividend Yield
1.02%
Market Cap
$1.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$293,335
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/zigman2/quotes/203319837/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 22.40
-0.57 -2.48%
Volume: 162,247
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
9.25
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$761.60 million
Rev. per Employee
$914,675
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/zigman2/quotes/206772377/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 24.67
-0.09 -0.36%
Volume: 511,540
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$713.04 million
Rev. per Employee
$361,698
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/zigman2/quotes/208755595/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 97.49
+0.57 +0.59%
Volume: 303,763
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
12.08
Dividend Yield
1.54%
Market Cap
$4.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$86,588
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/zigman2/quotes/201489855/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 24.92
-0.24 -0.95%
Volume: 246,080
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.01
Dividend Yield
2.01%
Market Cap
$1.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$472,088
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/zigman2/quotes/204538394/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 16.47
-0.33 -1.96%
Volume: 1.98M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
13.77
Dividend Yield
7.29%
Market Cap
$1.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.83M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 53.92
+0.16 +0.30%
Volume: 3.64M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
11.68
Dividend Yield
3.93%
Market Cap
$35.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210451852/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 4.09
-0.09 -2.15%
Volume: 696,563
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.85%
Market Cap
$258.69 million
Rev. per Employee
$508,194
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201364718/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 24.92
+0.13 +0.52%
Volume: 681,967
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.86
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$339,126
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 58.45
-0.03 -0.05%
Volume: 712,471
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$453,140
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/zigman2/quotes/208969279/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.02
-0.20 -1.23%
Volume: 267,460
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$633.51 million
Rev. per Employee
$256,197
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/zigman2/quotes/207291086/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 25.66
-0.36 -1.38%
Volume: 86,444
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
41.11
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$575.94 million
Rev. per Employee
$552,759
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/zigman2/quotes/205565021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 155.00
+0.97 +0.63%
Volume: 217,823
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.79
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208281861/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 92.37
-0.68 -0.73%
Volume: 125,944
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
17.12
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
$2.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$241,307
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202320876/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 9.90
-0.04 -0.40%
Volume: 939,682
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
9.79
Dividend Yield
1.21%
Market Cap
$2.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$270,489
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206867288/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 10.25
-0.07 -0.68%
Volume: 971,532
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
24.93
Dividend Yield
5.66%
Market Cap
$1.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$532,024
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208039417/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 20.23
-0.80 -3.80%
Volume: 576,842
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
17.46
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
$174,016
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201848718/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 37.87
-0.35 -0.92%
Volume: 219,824
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
41.97
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
$162,868
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203157296/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 40.92
+0.16 +0.39%
Volume: 749,455
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.29
Dividend Yield
1.47%
Market Cap
$1.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$83,452
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203540504/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 84.52
+0.39 +0.46%
Volume: 295,209
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
55.30
Dividend Yield
0.71%
Market Cap
$4.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$55,912
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/zigman2/quotes/202100806/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 12.49
-0.14 -1.11%
Volume: 747,468
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$636.58 million
Rev. per Employee
$882,235
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/zigman2/quotes/205784302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 39.01
-0.06 -0.15%
Volume: 157,903
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
52.42
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
$58,573
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/zigman2/quotes/203511287/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 79.95
+0.56 +0.71%
Volume: 173,952
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
56.50
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$15,628
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205349782/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 29.30
-0.50 -1.68%
Volume: 772,273
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
24.21
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$368,681
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204118116/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 72.58
-0.39 -0.53%
Volume: 303,521
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
77.78
Dividend Yield
0.37%
Market Cap
$2.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$224,958
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201162236/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 8.42
-0.49 -5.50%
Volume: 1.72M
Sept. 19, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
40.33
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$478,537
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204463018/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 41.33
-0.42 -1.01%
Volume: 161,698
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
32.12
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$266,315
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204177258/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 156.35
-1.99 -1.26%
Volume: 299,259
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
66.42
Dividend Yield
1.02%
Market Cap
$6.76 billion
Rev. per Employee
$335,280
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203836067/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 13.71
-0.24 -1.72%
Volume: 55,576
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
34.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$385.76 million
Rev. per Employee
$475,740
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200883544/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 54.14
+0.41 +0.76%
Volume: 284,386
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
66.67
Dividend Yield
2.59%
Market Cap
$1.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$788,215
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,821.50
+4.04 +0.22%
Volume: 2.08M
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
75.57
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$901.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
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/zigman2/quotes/204384782/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 14.68
-0.19 -1.28%
Volume: 91,854
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$336.50 million
Rev. per Employee
$366,994
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/zigman2/quotes/202492506/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 21.79
+0.08 +0.37%
Volume: 1.41M
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
1,101
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$184,494
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/zigman2/quotes/203565636/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 38.43
+0.12 +0.31%
Volume: 1.01M
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
$254,677
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/zigman2/quotes/204482576/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 5.35
-0.09 -1.65%
Volume: 748,037
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$462.36 million
Rev. per Employee
$197,747
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204775795/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 10.46
-0.49 -4.47%
Volume: 699,691
Sept. 19, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$399.43 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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