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 Extended Stay America, Inc. STAY 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, Extended Stay America has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 19.5, as you can see in the chart below:
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, Extended Stay America has a P/S ratio of about 3. This is a bit lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.5x right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years, suggesting some level of undervalued trading-at least compared to historical norms.
Broad Value Outlook
In aggregate, Extended Stay America currently has a Value Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Extended Stay America a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.
For example, its P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 8.5, which is far better than the industry average of 17.3. Clearly, STAY is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.
What About the Stock Overall?
Though Extended Stay America 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 Score of C and a Momentum Score of C. This gives STAY a Zacks VGM score - or its overarching fundamental grade - of B. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >> )
Meanwhile, the company's recent earnings estimates have been pretty encouraging. The current quarter has seen four estimates to go higher in the past sixty days compared to none lower, while the full year estimate has seen two upward and no downward movements in the same time period.
This has had a significant impact on the consensus estimate though as the current quarter consensus estimate has risen by 6.2% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has inched up by 1%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:
Extended Stay America, Inc. Price and Consensus
Despite this upward trend, the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and that is why we are looking for better performance from the company in the near term.
Extended Stay America is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover, a strong industry rank (Top 40% out of more than 250 industries) further strengthens its growth potential. In fact, over the past two years, the industry has clearly outperformed the broader market, as you can see below:
The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All
Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.