ZIXI or PANW: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Investors interested in stocks from the Security sector have probably already heard of Zix (ZIXI) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.

Right now, Zix is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Palo Alto Networks has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This means that ZIXI's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. But this is just one factor that value investors are interested in.

Value investors also try to analyze a wide range of traditional figures and metrics to help determine whether a company is undervalued at its current share price levels.

Our Value category highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.

ZIXI currently has a forward P/E ratio of 7.28, while PANW has a forward P/E of 36.29. We also note that ZIXI has a PEG ratio of 0.49. 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. PANW currently has a PEG ratio of 1.56.

Another notable valuation metric for ZIXI is its P/B ratio of 5.16. 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. By comparison, PANW has a P/B of 10.16.

These metrics, and several others, help ZIXI earn a Value grade of B, while PANW has been given a Value grade of D.

ZIXI sticks out from PANW in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that ZIXI is the better option right now.

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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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