The Fundamental Health Trend Meter gives a visual representation of the trend in a company's accounts and its overall financial health. It is based on the Piotroski F-Score, a nine-criteria scoring system developed by financial academic, Joseph Piotroski in a famous research paper. Each of the nine points relate to the change in a ratio based on the company's accounts.
Companies with a score of 8 or 9 have been found as a group to outperform weak stocks by 7.5% annually over a 20 year period. The weakest stocks, scoring 2 or lower, were found by Piotroski to be five times more likely to fall into financial problems.
Vodafone has an F-Score of 3 indicating
the company's accounts may be weakening.
"A positive earnings trend is suggestive of an improvement in the firm’s underlying ability to generate positive future cash flows."
Is the company making a profit?
Is it making more cash than it's reporting as profit?
Is it more profitable than it was last year?
Leverage, Liquidity, and Source of funds
"I assume that an increase in leverage, a deterioration of liquidity, or the use of external financing is a bad signal about financial risk."
Is the company's long term debt reducing or stable?
Is it increasing its ability to pay short term debts
Is the company trading without having to raise funds from shareholders?
"The remaining two signals are designed to measure changes in the efficiency of the firm’s operations."
Is pricing power improving and/or costs reducing?
Is it more productive than last year?