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DGX vs. LHCG: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors with an interest in Medical - Outpatient and Home Healthcare stocks have likely encountered both Quest Diagnostics (DGX) and LHC Group (LHCG). But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.

The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The Zacks Rank favors stocks with strong earnings estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight companies with specific traits.

Right now, Quest Diagnostics is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while LHC Group has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that DGX is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.

Value investors also try to analyze a wide range of traditional figures and metrics to help determine whether a company is undervalued at its 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.

DGX currently has a forward P/E ratio of 15.72, while LHCG has a forward P/E of 28.44. We also note that DGX has a PEG ratio of 2.07. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. LHCG currently has a PEG ratio of 2.08.

Another notable valuation metric for DGX is its P/B ratio of 2.50. 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, LHCG has a P/B of 2.72.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to DGX's Value grade of B and LHCG's Value grade of C.

DGX sticks out from LHCG in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that DGX is the better option right now.

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Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
LHC Group (LHCG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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