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Is Barrett Business Services (BBSI) a Great Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.

Of these, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

One stock to keep an eye on is Barrett Business Services (BBSI). BBSI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 14.70, which compares to its industry's average of 22.90. Over the last 12 months, BBSI's Forward P/E has been as high as 16.43 and as low as 10.05, with a median of 14.47.

Investors will also notice that BBSI has a PEG ratio of 1.22. 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. BBSI's industry currently sports an average PEG of 2.18. BBSI's PEG has been as high as 1.25 and as low as 1.20, with a median of 1.22, all within the past year.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is BBSI's P/B ratio of 4.26. 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. BBSI's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 8.26. Within the past 52 weeks, BBSI's P/B has been as high as 5.29 and as low as 3.45, with a median of 4.61.

Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's 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. BBSI has a P/S ratio of 0.73. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.01.

Finally, our model also underscores that BBSI has a P/CF ratio of 12.28. 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. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 14.17. Over the past year, BBSI's P/CF has been as high as 14.72 and as low as 10.03, with a median of 12.03.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Barrett Business Services is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, BBSI feels like a great value stock at the moment.


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