Piotroski F Score Overview

The Piotroski F-Score is a simple, 9-point scoring system that rates companies based on basic accounting information.

It was originally described in a white paper by Stanford accounting professor Joseph Piotroski as the result of an examination of “whether a simple accounting-based fundamental analysis strategy, when applied to a broad portfolio of high book-to-market firms, can shift the distribution of returns earned by an investor.”

He identified 9 factors that led to a 7.5% outperformance in his backtesting period, and 23% average annual returns when used in a long/short portfolio. We have also recently backtested the Piotroski F-Score and have continued to observe outperformance.

As Piotroski limited his universe to high book-to-market firms (or low price-to-book ones), his strategy is particularly effective for these types of stocks.

piotroski f score spreadsheet download


Piotroski’s 9 Signals


  • Positive net income compared to last year (1 point)
  • Positive operating cash flow in the current year (1 point)
  • Higher return on assets (ROA) in the current period compared to the ROA in the previous year (1 point)
  • Cash flow from operations greater than ROA (1 point)


  • Lower ratio of long term debt in the current period compared to the value in the previous year (1 point)
  • Higher current ratio this year compared to the previous year (1 point)No new shares were issued in the last year (1 point)


  • A higher gross margin compared to the previous year (1 point)
  • A higher asset turnover ratio compared to the previous year (1 point)

The higher the score the better. The score ranges can be interpreted as follows: 1-4 is a bad score. 5-6 is acceptable. 7-9 is great. The Piotroski score will not work for every industry like financials or CapEx-heavy industries where debt is required to keep the business operating. Remember, the focus of the research was on high book-to-market firms (low P/B), so performance of this model improves when combined with such firms.

Piotroski F-Score Calculator for Any U.S. Stock


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