Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.
Of these, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.
One stock to keep an eye on is CM Finance (CMFN). CMFN is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 7.61 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 10.34. Over the past year, CMFN's Forward P/E has been as high as 9.12 and as low as 5.59, with a median of 7.93.
Another valuation metric that we should highlight is CMFN's P/B ratio of 0.70. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This stock's P/B looks attractive against its industry's average P/B of 0.76. Over the past 12 months, CMFN's P/B has been as high as 0.79 and as low as 0.48, with a median of 0.68.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CMFN has a P/S ratio of 2.46. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 5.08.
Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that CM Finance is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, CMFN sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.
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