Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.
Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.
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 Manulife Financial (MFC). MFC is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 7.68, while its industry has an average P/E of 9.57. Over the last 12 months, MFC's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.19 and as low as 6.99, with a median of 8.88.
Investors should also recognize that MFC has a P/B ratio of 1.04. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus 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 1.84. Within the past 52 weeks, MFC's P/B has been as high as 1.46 and as low as 0.94, with a median of 1.18.
Finally, investors will want to recognize that MFC has a P/CF ratio of 8.71. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. This company's current P/CF looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 17.95. MFC's P/CF has been as high as 14.66 and as low as 7.89, with a median of 11.10, all within the past year.
Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that Manulife Financial is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, MFC sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.