While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.
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 tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.
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.
Applied Materials (AMAT) is a stock many investors are watching right now. AMAT is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 13.46. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 25.64. AMAT's Forward P/E has been as high as 18.56 and as low as 8.81, with a median of 14.62, all within the past year.
We also note that AMAT holds a PEG ratio of 0.99. 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. AMAT's industry currently sports an average PEG of 2.49. AMAT's PEG has been as high as 3.71 and as low as 0.89, with a median of 1.93, all within the past year.
We should also highlight that AMAT has a P/B ratio of 5.52. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. AMAT's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 11.24. Over the past 12 months, AMAT's P/B has been as high as 7.19 and as low as 4.03, with a median of 5.76.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. AMAT has a P/S ratio of 3.27. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 3.65.
Finally, we should also recognize that AMAT has a P/CF ratio of 15.30. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. AMAT's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 32.85. Over the past year, AMAT's P/CF has been as high as 19.55 and as low as 9.41, with a median of 14.75.
These are only a few of the key metrics included in Applied Materials's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, AMAT looks like an impressive value stock at the moment.
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