CNBC Stock Screener

The CNBC stock screener is an excellent choice for a stock screening tool if the data and logic requirements of your investing strategies are met. With the demise of the MSN Deluxe screener, this is an alternative worth consideration.

For investors who are interested in non-US exchanges, CNBC has set up this screener for Canadian stock exchanges as well as the US exchanges.

“Must Have” features

As always, the data and logic requirements of your investing strategies are the primary consideration. More than 80 distinct fundamental data points are available, and the richness of the operator set is impressive.

More good news for a free stock screener: you can name and save your screening criteria for later use and you can export the screen results to a spreadsheet.

One oddity is the lack of price or average trading volume as a screening criteria since average trading volume shows up in the results information. The work-around, if average trading volume is important, is to export the results and complete your screening in the spreadsheet.

The detailed financial data on the CNBC site enables you to determine the freshness of the data.

Stock screener “Nice to Have” features

Criteria are organized by category and only the points of interest will show on the screen page. It is simply a matter of selecting the criteria you need and then defining the breakpoints.

As mentioned earlier, the richness of the operator set is one of the screener’s strengths. Not only can you specify a range for a data point, you can specify the data relationship to the market or industry. For example, you can limit results to companies having a P/S ratio in the lowest 20% of their industry – a common value criteria.

Another strong point is the extensive data offered in the category of analyst estimates. If you want results with increasing numbers of earnings revisions or surprises, the data is available. This would be a valuable growth investing criteria.

It is not possible to sort the data by any viewable data field. But since you can export the data, this can be handled external to the screener.

CNBC stock screener “advanced” features

No back-testing is offered and CNBC offers no proprietary indicators within the screener. Custom formulas are not offered. The screen runs against the database, not a portfolio or earlier screen. To get a screen of a screen, the criteria can be entered into a single screen.

Keep in mind that this is a free screener so the lack of advanced features is not really a negative.

Implementing investing strategies

Your personal investing strategies identify the data and logic needs of the best stock screener for you.

The Tiny Titans strategy discussed elsewhere on this site is used to illustrate how the CNBC stock screener can implement a stock investment strategy.

Conclusions

If you intend to use a free stock screener this is worth a look. It may emerge as the best free screener. The data set is more complete than that offered by most other free screeners and the operators associated with the data are excellent. You can export results to a spreadsheet.

NOTES:

During the review of the screener, there were some issues when saving screening criteria by name. For example, when saving criteria for a Tiny Titans screen, the 1 year % price appreciation was not saved with the other criteria. This was a repeatable error and we are contacting CNBC to get it resolved. Also, the saved screens were not shown on the general screeningpage. Our expectation is that CNBC will resolve these issues.

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