Should Value Investors Buy First Bancorp (FBP) Stock?

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.

Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.

On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.

One company to watch right now is First Bancorp (FBP). FBP is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and an A for Value. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 7.16. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 10.84. FBP's Forward P/E has been as high as 14.12 and as low as 4.10, with a median of 9.30, all within the past year.

FBP is also sporting a PEG ratio of 1.27. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. FBP's industry currently sports an average PEG of 1.77. Over the past 52 weeks, FBP's PEG has been as high as 2.93 and as low as 0.21, with a median of 1.09.

Another notable valuation metric for FBP is its P/B ratio of 0.55. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This company's current P/B looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/B of 0.91. FBP's P/B has been as high as 1.10 and as low as 0.37, with a median of 0.63, over the past year.

Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. FBP has a P/S ratio of 1.62. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.84.

Finally, investors will want to recognize that FBP has a P/CF ratio of 9.26. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 11. Over the past 52 weeks, FBP's P/CF has been as high as 12.57 and as low as 4.43, with a median of 9.24.

These are only a few of the key metrics included in First Bancorp's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, FBP looks like an impressive value stock at the moment.

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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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