AB or ARES: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Investors looking for stocks in the Financial - Investment Management sector might want to consider either AllianceBernstein (AB) or Ares Management (ARES). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. The Zacks Rank is a proven strategy that targets companies with positive earnings estimate revision trends, while our Style Scores work to grade companies based on specific traits.

Currently, AllianceBernstein has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Ares Management has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This means that AB's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.

Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

The Style Score Value grade factors in a variety of key fundamental metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a number of other key stats that are commonly used by value investors.

AB currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.93, while ARES has a forward P/E of 29.34. We also note that AB has a PEG ratio of 0.77. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. ARES currently has a PEG ratio of 0.99.

Another notable valuation metric for AB is its P/B ratio of 1.80. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, ARES has a P/B of 10.28.

Based on these metrics and many more, AB holds a Value grade of B, while ARES has a Value grade of F.

AB is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that AB is likely the superior value option right now.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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