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7 Low Price-to-Sales Stocks With Value-Based Potential

Zacks Equity Research
Hospitality Properties (HPT) stock may be a good choice for value-oriented investors right now from multiple angles.

When considering valuation metrics, price-to-earnings ratio has always been the obvious choice. This is because calculations based on earnings are easy and come in handy. However, price-to-sales has emerged as a convenient tool to determine the value of stocks that are incurring losses or are in an early cycle of development, generating meager or no profits.

While a loss-making company with a negative price-to-earnings ratio falls out of investor favor, its price-to-sales could indicate the hidden strength of its business. This underrated ratio is also used to identify a recovery situation or ensure that a company's growth is not overvalued.

A stock’s price-to-sales ratio reflects how much investors are paying for each dollar of revenues generated by the company.

If the price-to-sales ratio is 1, it means that investors are paying $1 for every $1 of revenues generated by the company. So, it goes without saying  that a stock with a price-to-sales below 1 is a good bargain, as investors need to pay less than a dollar for a dollar’s worth.  

Thus, a stock with a lower price-to-sales ratio is a more suitable investment than a stock with a high price-to-sales ratio.

Price-to-sales is often preferred over price-to-earnings as companies can manipulate their earnings using various accounting measures. However, sales are harder to manipulate and are relatively reliable.

However, one should keep in mind that a company with high debt and low price-to-sales is not an ideal choice. The high debt level will have to be paid off at some point, leading to further share issuance, rise in market cap and ultimately a higher price-to-sales ratio.

In any case, the price-to-sales ratio used in isolation cannot do the trick. One should also analyze other ratios like Price/Earnings, Price/Book and Debt/Equity before arriving at any investment decision.

Screening Parameters

Price to Sales less than Median Price to Sales for its Industry: The lower the price-to-sales ratio, the better.

Price to Earnings using F(1) estimate less than Median Price to Earnings for its Industry: The lower, the better.

Price to Book (common Equity) less than Median Price to Book for its Industry: This is another parameter to ensure the value feature of a stock.

Debt to Equity (Most Recent) less than Median Debt to Equity for its Industry: A company with less debt should have a stable price-to-sales ratio.

Current Price greater than or equal to $5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.

Zacks Rank less than or equal to #2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform irrespective of the market environment.

Value Score less than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best opportunities in the value investing space.

Here are seven of the 20 stocks that qualified the screening:

Comcast Corporation CMCSA is a media and technology company with worldwide operations. It has three primary businesses, Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky. The company also provides a wireless phone service under Xfinity Mobile and owns the Philadelphia Flyers, as well as the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia, PA. This Zacks Rank #1 company has a Value Score of B. The 3-5 year EPS growth rate for the stock is estimated to be 12.8%.

Quanta Services Inc. PWR is a leading national provider of specialty contracting services and one of the largest contractors serving the transmission and distribution sector of the North American electric utility industry. Quanta Services has operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and other selected international markets. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Value Score of A.

Israel Chemicals Ltd. ICL is a specialty minerals company with worldwide operations. The company's products include bromine specialty chemicals, potash, phosphate fertilizers, and specialty performance and industrial products. It markets its products primarily in Israel, Europe, and the Americas. The company has an estimated 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 9.5%. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #2.

Tutor Perini Corporation TPC is a construction company. It operates worldwide and offers diversified general contracting, construction management, and design-build services to private customers and public agencies. The company has an estimated 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 10%. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Rocky Brands RCKY is a manufacturer and seller of footwear and apparel in the United States, Canada and internationally. It sells products under the Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango, Lehigh, Creative Recreation and Michelin brands. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #2.

J. Alexander's Holdings JAX owns and operates restaurants and dining primarily in the United Sates. Its four complementary upscale dining restaurant concepts are J. Alexander's, Redlands Grill, Lyndhurst Grill, and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill (Stoney River). These mainly offer American food. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of A.

Popular Inc. BPOP is a diversified, publicly-owned bank holding company. It engages in providing various retail, mortgage, and commercial banking products and services, primarily to institutional and retail customers. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Value Score of B.

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

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