What is a Piotroski Score: Definition and Example


Key Takeaway:

  • A Piotroski Score is a metric used to evaluate a company's financial health based on various fundamental factors, including financial strength, profitability, operating efficiency, and value.
  • The components of the Piotroski Score include assessing a company's current ratio, gross margins, asset turnover, return on assets, changes in long-term debt, and issuer size.
  • The Piotroski Score can be used to screen for high-quality stocks, assess a company's financial health, and make investment decisions. For example, investors could use the Piotroski Score to compare companies within the same industry and identify the best investment opportunities.

Do you want to understand how to make better investment decisions in stocks? Learning about the Piotroski Score can help you make smarter decisions and improve returns. You'll gain insight into how to evaluate stocks with this powerful analysis tool.

Definition of Piotroski Score

A Piotroski Score is a financial scoring system used to evaluate the overall health of a company based on its financial statements and other key metrics. It is a 9-point scale that assesses a company's profitability, operating efficiency, financial leverage, liquidity, and other factors to determine its investment potential.

Companies with high Piotroski Scores are considered good investments, while those with low scores are seen as risky. The score is named after its creator, Joseph Piotroski, a finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

It is derived by analyzing a company's financial statements and calculating factors such as net income, operating cash flow, return on assets, gross margins, and other metrics. The score takes into account factors such as changes in profitability, debt reduction, and asset turnover. Companies with scores of 8 or 9 are considered to be financially healthy, while those with scores of 0-2 are generally considered to be risky.

One thing to note is that a high Piotroski Score does not necessarily guarantee investment success, but it can provide a useful benchmark for investors looking to evaluate potential opportunities. Investors should also consider other factors such as market trends, industry performance, and company management when making investment decisions.

Pro Tip: When using the Piotroski Score, it is important to consider a company's specific industry and circumstances, as scores can vary widely between different sectors and market conditions.

Components of the Piotroski Score

Let's dive into the details of the Piotroski Score to understand it better. This score helps to determine a company's financial strength and market position. It has 4 components:

  1. Financial Strength
  2. Profitability
  3. Operating Efficiency
  4. Value

Each one plays an important role. Keep reading to learn how each one contributes to the Piotroski Score.

Financial Strength

The strength of a company's financial position is derived from various factors, including its profitability, liquidity, solvency, and efficiency. A comprehensive evaluation of these factors can determine the financial standing or health of an organization.

Profitability is an essential aspect that examines a company's ability to generate revenue relative to its costs and expenses. Factors such as revenue growth, gross margin, net profit margin, and return on equity are vital in evaluating a firm's profit-making capabilities.

Liquidity refers to a company's ability to meet short-term obligations using current assets without disrupting regular operations. Metrics such as the current ratio, quick ratio, and cash conversion cycle measure how easily a firm can convert its assets into cash.

Solvency delves into a company's long-term financial viability by analyzing debt levels relative to assets and earnings. Evaluating leverage ratios such as debt-to-equity or interest coverage enables investors in measuring an enterprise s capacity to handle more debt and hence expand.

Efficiency concerning financial strength considers operational effectiveness measured through metrics such as inventory turnover ratio or accounts receivable days outstanding. Lower values signify better efficiency in inventory management or collections processes.

According to Forbes.com (2021), Warren Buffet admires positive score companies' approach citing their ability consistently produce strong earnings gains while being conservative with spending.

Show me the money! Profitability is where the Piotroski Score separates the champions from the chumps.


One of the significant elements in the Piotroski Score that investors look at is the capacity of a firm to generate profits. Profitability serves as an indicator of how efficiently a company's resources are being used to generate returns for investors. A company with consistent profitability over time may indicate sound financial health and future growth prospects.

To calculate the profitability component of the Piotroski score, various financial metrics such as gross margin, operating margin, return on assets (ROA) are considered. Companies that consistently show improvements in these metrics year-on-year will have higher scores in this category.

It's worth noting that high profitability alone does not equate to a good investment opportunity. Investors must also consider other factors like debt-to-equity ratio, cash flow, and market position to determine if a company has solid fundamentals and long-term potential.

Pro Tip: While it's important to evaluate a company's profitability when choosing investments, it's equally essential to monitor industry trends concerning pricing pressures and customer demand changes that could affect any given business's ability to maintain its profitability levels.

Operating Efficiency: where high scores are a sign of success, and low scores make companies wish they had a redo button.

Operating Efficiency

Improving the effectiveness of operational activities is a crucial goal for any business. One key factor in enhancing Operating Efficiency is to rationalize and optimize business processes. By minimizing costs related to resources, time, and effort, companies can increase productivity and profitability. Streamlining procedures by eliminating bottlenecks and redundancies is an effective way to enhance Operating Efficiency in an organization.

To further improve Operating Efficiency, businesses must focus on technology integration, employee training and development, organizational structure optimization, facility management, inventory control management, enhancing customer satisfaction levels and implementing performance measurement indicators. By paying close attention to these factors and continuously revising strategies when necessary, businesses can stay competitive.

Efficient operations are essential for success in today's economy. Neglecting Operating Efficiency may result in missed opportunities for cost savings, revenue growth or worse still financial losses that could negatively impact the company's bottom line. Companies should consider enhancing their Operating Efficiency if they want to succeed in the long term as it demonstrates an ongoing commitment to excellence that resonates with consumers.

Value is subjective, unless you're talking about a stock with a high Piotroski Score- then it's worth its weight in gold.


The Piotroski Score is a valuable metric used to evaluate the financial health of a company. It measures the profitability, operating efficiency, and overall financial strength of a business to identify attractive investment opportunities. The score ranges from 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating better financial condition.

To calculate the Piotroski Score, nine individual criteria are analyzed using fundamental analysis of financial statements. These criteria include profitability factors such as increasing gross margins and return on assets, operational efficiency factors like decreasing asset turnover and leverage ratios, and financial strength factors such as improving liquidity and reducing dilution from new shares issuance.

By analyzing each metric individually, investors can gain insight into a company's trends in key areas that can affect its future performance. Knowledge of the Piotroski Score may also aid in identifying potential undervalued or overvalued investments.

It's important to note that while the Piotroski Score is a useful tool for evaluating companies, it should not be relied upon exclusively when making investment decisions. As with any investment strategy, additional research beyond just the numerical score is essential to make informed choices.

According to Investopedia, "Joseph D. Piotroski first introduced his scoring system in 'Value Investing: The Use of Historical Financial Statement Information to Separate Winners from Losers'".

From zero to hero: How the Piotroski Score turned a struggling company into a top performer.

Example of Using Piotroski Score

Use Piotroski Score in real-world scenarios! Screen for high-quality stocks. Assess a company's financial health. Make informed investment decisions. Here's an example to help you apply this method. Sub-sections included:

Screening for high-quality stocks

Screening for superior equities involves a careful evaluation of various indicators that can be used to identify profitable stocks. Three ways to screen for high-quality stocks are by analyzing growth potential, profitability, and financial stability. Growth potential is examined by evaluating a company's earnings growth rate, revenue growth rate, and price-to-earnings ratio. Profitability is studied by assessing factors such as operating margins and return on equity, while financial stability is gauged by examining liquidity ratios, debt-to-equity ratios, and free cash flow.

It's worth noting that screening for high-quality stocks requires the use of multiple indicators in conjunction with one another rather than relying on one single measure of success. Long-term investors should look beyond immediate gains or losses when selecting their investments.

According to Forbes, "Firms with high F-scores (better quality) have not only had higher returns than low-F-score firms but have also benefited from greater improvements in future performance."

Judging a company's financial health is like giving a body check-up, except you're not allowed to ask them to cough.

Assessment of a company's financial health

To understand the financial health of a company, a comprehensive assessment needs to be conducted. This evaluation includes analyzing different aspects such as liquidity, solvency, profitability, and operating efficiency. Utilizing financial ratios is one way to assess these aspects in an organized manner.

Below is a table that summarizes some of the key financial ratios that can be used for the 'Analysis of a Company's Financial Health' assessment.

Ratio Description Formula Current Ratio A liquidity ratio - measures if a company can pay off its current liabilities with current assets. Current Assets / Current Liabilities Quick Ratio A more conservative liquidity ratio - measures if a company can pay off its current liabilities with highly liquid (quick) assets only (Cash + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable) / Current Liabilities Debt to Equity Ratio A leverage ratio - shows proportionately how much debt the company has compared to equity or shareholder-based funds. Total Debt / Total Equity Gross Margin Ratio A profitability ratio - measures how much profit is made on each unit sold, after accounting for direct raw material and labor costs. It helps to determine production efficiencies. Gross Profit / Net Sales

It is important to note that no single ratio can solely evaluate the overall health of the company. Hence analysts use a combination of ratios when conducting financial statement analysis.

Pro Tip: The interpretation of these ratios may vary depending upon industry standards and norms. Therefore, It's essential always to analyze these ratios in conjunction with the company's industry benchmark and peer analysis.

investment decision-making

Investment analysis is a crucial aspect of financial decision-making. By utilizing various metrics to evaluate potential investments, investors can make informed choices to maximize their returns. One such metric is the Piotroski score, which assesses a company's financial health based on nine fundamental factors. A higher score indicates better financial strength and lower investment risk.

The Piotroski score takes into account multiple factors that impact the company's profitability, such as earnings quality and asset turnover. This metric allows investors to identify financially stable companies with strong growth potential and better investment prospects. By using this tool, analysts can perform due diligence and make data-driven decisions with greater accuracy.

It's essential to note that while the Piotroski score provides valuable insights, it should not be used in isolation for making investment decisions. Investors should consider various other factors, such as industry trends, market conditions, and management expertise before committing capital.

According to a study by Demerjian et al., published in The Accounting Review in 2013, investing in high Piotroski-score high-frequency trading (HFT) stocks resulted in substantial returns over non-HFT stocks over three decades.

Five Facts About What Is a Piotroski Score? Definition, Meaning, and Example:

  • ✅ A Piotroski Score is a financial metric developed by Joseph Piotroski to assess the fundamental strength of a company. (Source: Investopedia)
  • ✅ The Piotroski Score is calculated based on nine accounting variables and is used to identify high-quality value stocks. (Source: The Motley Fool)
  • ✅ The nine accounting variables used in the Piotroski Score include profitability, operating efficiency, and financial leverage. (Source: Seeking Alpha)
  • ✅ A higher Piotroski Score indicates better fundamental strength, and stocks with high scores have historically outperformed the market. (Source: Benzinga)
  • ✅ It is important to consider other factors such as industry trends and market conditions when using the Piotroski Score to make investment decisions. (Source: Kiplinger)

FAQs about What Is A Piotroski Score? Definition, Meaning, And Example

What is a Piotroski Score? Definition, Meaning, and Example

A Piotroski Score is a financial metric invented by Joseph Piotroski, an accounting professor at Stanford University. It is a ranking system used to evaluate the financial strength of a company, based on various fundamental factors.

What are the components of a Piotroski Score?

A Piotroski Score consists of 9 components, which are used to evaluate the financial strength of a company. These components include profitability, liquidity, leverage, asset turnover, current ratio, gross margin, debt-to-equity ratio, return on assets, and cash flow from operations. Each component is assigned a score of 0 or 1, based on whether it meets a specific criterion. A high Piotroski Score indicates that a company has strong financials, while a low score indicates that the company is struggling financially.

How is a Piotroski Score calculated?

A Piotroski Score is calculated by adding up the scores of each of the 9 components. The maximum score is 9, and the minimum score is 0. A higher score indicates that a company has strong financials, while a lower score indicates that the company is struggling financially.

What is an example of a high Piotroski Score?

An example of a high Piotroski Score is a score of 8 or 9. This indicates that a company has strong financials, such as high profitability, strong liquidity, low leverage, high asset turnover, high current ratio, high gross margin, low debt-to-equity ratio, high return on assets, and strong cash flow from operations. A high Piotroski Score is generally considered to be a good sign for investors.

What is an example of a low Piotroski Score?

An example of a low Piotroski Score is a score of 0-2. This indicates that a company has weak financials, such as low profitability, weak liquidity, high leverage, low asset turnover, low current ratio, low gross margin, high debt-to-equity ratio, low return on assets, and weak cash flow from operations. A low Piotroski Score is generally considered to be a red flag for investors.

Why is a Piotroski Score important for investors?

A Piotroski Score is important for investors because it provides a quick and easy way to evaluate the financial strength of a company. By using a standardized ranking system, investors can quickly identify companies with strong financials and avoid companies with weak financials. A high Piotroski Score is generally considered to be a good sign for investors, while a low score is considered to be a red flag.