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DOW vs. ALB: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

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Investors interested in stocks from the Chemical - Diversified sector have probably already heard of Dow Inc. (DOW) and Albemarle (ALB). But which of these two stocks presents investors with the better value opportunity right now? Let's take a closer look.

There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. The Zacks Rank favors stocks with strong earnings estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight companies with specific traits.

Dow Inc. has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Albemarle has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that DOW 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.

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.

DOW currently has a forward P/E ratio of 7.82, while ALB has a forward P/E of 53.31. We also note that DOW has a PEG ratio of 0.28. 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. ALB currently has a PEG ratio of 2.68.

Another notable valuation metric for DOW is its P/B ratio of 2.80. 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, ALB has a P/B of 3.79.

These metrics, and several others, help DOW earn a Value grade of A, while ALB has been given a Value grade of F.

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


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