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 ACCO Brands CorporationACCO 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:
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, ACCO Brands has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 15.53, as you can see in the chart below:
We should also point out that ACCO Brands has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year's earnings) of just 12.09, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for ACCO Brands stock in the near term too.
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, ACCO Brands has a P/S ratio of about 0.93. This is significantly lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.09 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.
If anything, ACCO Brands is towards the higher end of its range in the time period from a P/S metric, which suggests that the company's stock price has already appreciated to some degree, relative to its sales.
Broad Value Outlook
In aggregate, ACCO Brands currently has a Zacks Value Style Score of 'A', putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes ACCO Brands a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.
For example, the PEG ratio for ACCO Brands is just 1.21, a level that is somewhat lower than the industry average of 1.90. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock's earnings growth rate. Additionally, its P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 6.45, which is slightly better than the industry average of 6.59. Clearly, ACCO Brands is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.
What About the Stock Overall?
Though ACCO Brands 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 'C' and a Momentum score of 'C'. This gives ACCO Brands a Zacks VGM score-or its overarching fundamental grade-of 'A'. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)
Meanwhile, the company's recent earnings estimates have been encouraging. The full-year 2017 has seen three estimates go higher in the past sixty days compared to none lower, while the full-year 2018 estimate has seen one upward and no downward revisions in the same time period.
This has had a positive impact on the consensus estimate, as the full-year 2017 consensus estimate has risen by 10.3% in the past two months, while the full-year 2018 estimate has increased about 9.3%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:
Acco Brands Corporation Price and Consensus
This bullish trend is why the stock boasts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and why we are expecting outperformance from the company in the near term.
ACCO Brands is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. With a formidable industry rank (Top 1% out of more than 250 industries) and top Zacks Rank, ACCO Brands looks like a strong value contender. In fact, over the past two years, the Zacks Office Supplies & Forms sector has clearly outperformed the broader market, as you can see below:
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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.