How To Interpret F.A.S.T. Graphs
FAST Graphs™ are a "tool to think with" and as such, have no agenda of their own. Instead, they are designed to provide "essential fundamentals at a glance" and allow the user to interpret the data according to their own philosophies, strategies and beliefs. In this context, FAST Graphs™ are the deliverer or reporter of important information.
Essentially, the FAST Graphs™ stock research tool provides investors many benefits, but there are four things they do very well.
They provide a historical review and instantaneous perspective of how well the business behind the stock has historically performed (the orange earnings justified valuation line).
They provide an instantaneous perspective of how the market has historically capitalized or priced the company's operating results or business performance (the blue normal PE ratio line).
They provide a precise consensus estimate of leading analysts' near term earnings expectations for a company's current fiscal year and next fiscal year followed by a five year earnings growth consensus estimate (estimated earnings and return calculator graph).
They provide the opportunity to override and therefore input the user's own estimates or expectations of the company's future prospects (override function is located on navigation bar).
FAST Graphs™ are a dynamic tool that calculates the company's changing growth rates each time a different time period is selected. Therefore, the user can determine such things as whether the company's earnings growth rates are accelerating, decelerating or staying the same, and see major inflection points, if any, with a company's business vividly revealed. This is a major component of the "tools to think with" aspect of this fundamental research tool.
FAST Graphs™ reveal the undeniable correlation and relationship between earnings and stock price on any publicly traded company. This "tool to think with" helps the user determine fair valuation; past, present and future, on any company being examined. Therefore, the user is empowered with the proper perspectives towards making sound buy, sell or hold investing decisions.
The key to running the FAST Graphs™ tool is the proper utilization of the light brown or tan vertical navigation bar to the left. This navigation bar is what drives the FAST Graphs™. We suggest clicking the drop-down menu box titled "Select Yrs" and running multiple graphs starting with a 15-year default graph and then shortening the graphs to, for example, a 10-year graph, followed by a 5-year graph, followed by a 2-year graph, etc. Any combinations of years, from as short as the last 2 years all the way out to the last 20 years, can be run.
When running multiple graphs you will notice that FAST Graphs™ is a dynamic tool that automatically calculates and recalculates growth rates and valuations. The most obvious advantage to running dynamic graphs over multiple time periods is to determine whether or not growth rates are accelerating, decelerating or staying the same. Consequently, it might also make sense to focus more on the most recent time frames such as the last five years, two years, etc.
The FAST Graphs™ research tool is designed to help the user more efficiently conduct a comprehensive research effort. Just above the historical graph is a link to the company's website. This enables the researcher to access the company's financials, review any presentations they have provided, read news releases, etc.
In addition to the link to the company's website on the top of the historical chart, there are three additional links in the tan navigation bar to the left of the graphs. Two of the links, "Summary" and "Quote" will take the user to Google Finance and MSN Money respectively. These links provide additional research that the user can quickly and easily examine.
The final link at the bottom of the navigation bar "To Find Other Estimates or Symbols" takes the user to the MSN Money page where Zacks' earnings estimates can be reviewed. This provides the user a cross-check of the earnings estimates that can be compared to the Standard & Poor's Corp. Capital IQ that FAST Graphs™ default to.
The following screenshots depict all of the historical and forecasting graphics available with FAST Graphs™. Remember, the live fully functioning FAST Graphs™ are dynamic tools that can be utilized instantly and easily provide a comprehensive perspective of a stock, how its business has performed and how the market has value that performance over time.
Historical FAST Graphs™