5 Stocks With Amazingly Low EV/EBITDA Ratios to Own Now
Price-to-earnings (P/E), given its apparent simplicity, is the most commonly used metric in the value investing world. The ratio enjoys great popularity among valuation metrics in the investment toolkit and is preferred while picking stocks trading at attractive prices. However, even this straightforward, broadly-used valuation metric has a few downsides.
What Makes EV/EBITDA a Better Choice?
While P/E is by far the most-popular valuation metric, a more-complicated metric called EV/EBITDA does a better job in working out the fair market value of a firm. Often viewed as a better substitute to P/E, this ratio offers a clearer picture of a company’s valuation and its earnings potential.
Also dubbed as the enterprise multiple, EV/EBITDA is essentially the enterprise value (EV) of a stock divided by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). EV is the sum of a company’s market capitalization, its debt and preferred stock minus cash and cash equivalents. Essentially, it is the total value of a company.
EBITDA, the other component of the ratio, gives the true picture of a company’s profitability as it eliminates the impact of non-cash expenses like depreciation and amortization that depress net earnings. It is also often used as a proxy for cash flows.
Just like P/E, the lower the EV/EBITDA ratio, the more attractive it is. A low EV/EBITDA ratio could be a sign that a stock is potentially undervalued.
However, unlike P/E ratio, EV/EBITDA takes into account the debt on a company’s balance sheet. For this reason, EV/EBITDA is usually used to value possible acquisition targets. Stocks with a low EV/EBITDA multiple could be seen as potential takeover candidates.
P/E also can’t be used to value a loss-making firm. A company’s earnings are also subject to accounting estimates and management manipulation. In contrast, EV/EBITDA is less amenable to manipulation and can also be used to value companies that are making loss but are EBITDA-positive.
EV/EBITDA is also a useful yardstick in measuring the value of firms that are highly leveraged and have a high degree of depreciation. Moreover, it can be used to compare companies with different levels of debt.
However, EV/EBITDA has its limitations too. It varies across industries and is generally not appropriate while comparing stocks in different industries given their diverse capital spending requirements.
Thus, a strategy entirely based on EV/EBITDA might not fetch the desired outcome. But you can club it with other major ratios such as price-to-book (P/B), P/E and price-to-sales (P/S) to screen value stocks.
Here are the parameters to screen for value stocks:
EV/EBITDA 12 Months-Most Recent less than X-Industry Median: A lower EV/EBITDA ratio represents a cheaper valuation.
P/E using (F1) less than X-Industry Median: This metric screens stocks that are trading at a discount to their peers.
P/B less than X-Industry Median: A lower P/B compared with the industry average implies that the stock is undervalued.
P/S less than X-Industry Median: The lower the P/S ratio the more attractive the stock is as investors will have to pay a smaller price for the same amount of sales generated by the company.
Estimated One-Year EPS Growth F(1)/F(0) greater than or equal to X-Industry Median: This parameter will help in screening stocks that have growth rates higher than the industry median. This is a meaningful indicator as decent earnings growth always adds to investor optimism.
Average 20-day Volume greater than or equal to 100,000: The addition of this metric ensures that shares can be traded easily.
Current Price greater than or equal to $5: This parameter will help in screening stocks that are trading at a minimum price of $5 or higher.
Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: No screening is complete without the Zacks Rank, which has proven its worth since inception. It is a fundamental truth that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) have always managed to beat adversities and outperform the market.
Value Score of less than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.
Here are five of the 12 stocks that passed the screen:
Mr. Cooper Group Inc. COOP provides quality servicing, origination and transaction-based services principally to single-family residences, primarily in the United States. This Zacks Rank #1 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 14.5% for the current fiscal year. It also has a Value Score of A.
Green Brick Partners, Inc. GRBK is a diversified homebuilding and land development company. This Zacks Rank #1 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 36.2% for the current year and a Value Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Verso Corporation VRS makes printing papers, primarily for commercial printing, media and marketing applications. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has a Value Score of A. The company has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 815.8% for the current year.
Foundation Building Materials, Inc. FBM is a specialty distributor of wallboard and suspended ceiling systems primarily in the United States and Canada. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 11.8% for the current year and a Value Score of A.
Vistra Energy Corp. VST is a leading, integrated, energy company providing essential resources for customers, commerce, and communities. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth of 13.5% for the current year and a Value Score of A.
You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.
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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.
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