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BANR vs. HFWA: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

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Zacks Equity Research
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Investors with an interest in Financial - Savings and Loan stocks have likely encountered both Banner (BANR) and Heritage Financial (HFWA). 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 emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.

Banner has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Heritage Financial has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now. The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that BANR has an improving earnings 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.

Our Value category grades stocks based on a number of key metrics, including the tried-and-true P/E ratio, the P/S ratio, earnings yield, and cash flow per share, as well as a variety of other fundamentals that value investors frequently use.

BANR currently has a forward P/E ratio of 13.17, while HFWA has a forward P/E of 16.39. We also note that BANR has a PEG ratio of 1.88. 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. HFWA currently has a PEG ratio of 2.34.

Another notable valuation metric for BANR is its P/B ratio of 1.34. 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. By comparison, HFWA has a P/B of 1.44.

Based on these metrics and many more, BANR holds a Value grade of B, while HFWA has a Value grade of D.

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

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Banner Corporation (BANR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Heritage Financial Corporation (HFWA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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