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AMN vs. HQY: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors interested in stocks from the Medical Services sector have probably already heard of AMN Healthcare Services (AMN) and HealthEquity (HQY). But which of these two companies is the best option for those looking for undervalued stocks? Let's take a closer look.

We have found that the best way to discover great value opportunities is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with a great grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

AMN Healthcare Services has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while HealthEquity has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) right now. This means that AMN's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.

Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

AMN currently has a forward P/E ratio of 18.21, while HQY has a forward P/E of 47.04. We also note that AMN has a PEG ratio of 1.46. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. HQY currently has a PEG ratio of 2.36.

Another notable valuation metric for AMN is its P/B ratio of 3.92. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, HQY has a P/B of 7.41.

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

AMN stands above HQY thanks to its solid earnings outlook, and based on these valuation figures, we also feel that AMN is the superior value option right now.


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