Can a quant screen identify a great CEO?

John Malone
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Wall Street quants deal with tangibles: cash flows, profits, P/Es.

But could a quant screen mimic one of Warren Buffett's favorite investing criteria and identify great management?

Fundstrat's George Gianarikas says yes.

He wrote in a note to clients Wednesday:

"History has proven time and time again that management matters. Examples including Google versus Yahoo, JPMorgan versus Countrywide, and Apple versus numerous industries prove that, with a given set of assets and information, the people making the decisions can make all the difference between a stock that outperforms and one that doesn't."

Fundstrat cites the example of how Alphabet (formerly known as Google) is up 1,670 percent versus Yahoo's 20 percent return since the 2004 initial public offering. Both companies had similar search market share a decade ago.

Gianarikas believes he's located a way to find great CEOs by screening for those individuals whose stocks outperformed the S&P 500 and peers in their industry.

But most importantly, they've achieved these feats with at least three companies.

Here are the five that made the list and their returns: