Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn't want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?
One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let's put Sierra Wireless, Inc. SWIR
stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks: PE Ratio
A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock's current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.
On this front, Sierra Wireless has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 18, as you can see in the chart below:
This level actually compares favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at 20.7. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, the current PE level is below its midpoint over the past five years.
Further, the stock's PE also compares favorably with its industry's trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 21.2. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.
We should also point out that Sierra Wireless has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year's earnings) of 18.8, so it is fair to expect an increase in the company's share price in the near future.
Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock's price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.
Right now, Sierra Wireless has a P/S ratio of about 0.9. This is lower than the industry's average, which comes in at 3x right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.
If anything, this suggests some level of undervalued trading-at least compared to historical norms.
Broad Value Outlook
In aggregate, Sierra Wireless currently has a Zacks Value Style Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Sierra Wireless a solid choice for value investors.
What About the Stock Overall?
Though Sierra Wireless might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth grade of F and a Momentum score of B. This gives SWIR a Zacks VGM score-or its overarching fundamental grade-of C. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >> )
Meanwhile, the company's recent earnings estimates have been encouraging. The current year and next has seen three estimates go higher in the past thirty days compared to none lower.
As a result, the consensus estimate for the current year has risen by 1% in the past month, while the next year estimate has inched higher by 0.9%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:
Sierra Wireless, Inc. Price and Consensus
Sierra Wireless, Inc. Price and Consensus | Sierra Wireless, Inc. Quote
Even though Sierra Wireless has a better estimates trend, the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). That is why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.
Sierra Wireless is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. However, with a sluggish industry rank (bottom 36%) and a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. Also, over the past one year, its industry has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:
So, value investors might want to wait for the broader factors to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.
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