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Is Seagate Technology a Suitable Stock for Value Investors?

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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 Seagate Technology plcSTX 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, Seagate has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 13.8, as you can see in the chart below:

This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 20.4. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Seagate's current PE level puts it below its midpoint over the past five years, with the number rising rapidly over the past few months.

Further, the stock's PE also compares favorably with the Zacks Categorized Computer-Storage Devices industry's trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 20.2. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is highly undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

We should also point out that Seagate has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year's earnings) of just 10.2, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Seagate stock in the near term too.

P/CF Ratio

An often overlooked ratio that can still be a great indicator of value is the price/cash flow metric. This ratio doesn't take amortization and depreciation into account, so can give a more accurate picture of the financial health in a business. This is a preferred metric to some valuation investors because cash flows are (a) generally less prone to manipulation by the company's management and (b) are less affected by variation in accounting policies between different companies.

The ratio is generally applied to find out whether a company's stock is overpriced or underpriced with reference to its cash flows generation potential compared with its competitors. However, it is not commonly used for cross-industry comparison, as the average price to cash flow ratio varies from industry to industry.

In this case, Seagate's P/CF ratio of 10.4 is lower than the Zacks classified Computer-Storage Device industry average of 13.9, which indicates that the stock is significantly undervalued in this respect.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Seagate 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 Seagate a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For example, the P/S ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 1.23, which is slightly better than the industry average of 1.26. Clearly, STX is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Seagate 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 'A' and a Momentum score of 'B'. This gives STX 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 estimate revision trend has mixed. The current quarter has seen one going higher in the past sixty days compared to none lower in the same time period, while the full year estimate has seen no up or down in the same time period. As a result, the current quarter consensus estimate has increased 1.9% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has decreased by 0.2%.

Seagate Technology PLC Price and Consensus

Seagate Technology PLC Price and Consensus | Seagate Technology PLC Quote

This mixed trend indicates that while the stock's growth story is intact over the short term, analysts have some apprehensions about the stock in the long term.

Also consider the fact that the company boasts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which indicates robust fundamentals and expectations of outperformance in the near term.

Bottom Line

Seagate Technolgy is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front.

Boasting a good industry rank (top 34% out of more than 250 industries) and a solid Zacks Rank, the company deserves attention right now. In fact, over the past one year, the Zacks Categorized Computer-Storage Device industry has clearly over performed the broader market, as you can see below:

So, it might pay for value investors to delve deeper into the company's prospects, as fundamentals indicate that this stock could be a compelling pick.

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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.


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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