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EWBC vs. FRC: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

Zacks Equity Research
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Investors interested in Banks - West stocks are likely familiar with East West Bancorp (EWBC) and First Republic Bank (FRC). 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.

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 puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Right now, East West Bancorp is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while First Republic Bank has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This means that EWBC's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. But this is just one factor that value investors are interested in.

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.

The Style Score Value grade factors in a variety of key fundamental metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a number of other key stats that are commonly used by value investors.

EWBC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.50, while FRC has a forward P/E of 19.75. We also note that EWBC has a PEG ratio of 1. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. FRC currently has a PEG ratio of 1.59.

Another notable valuation metric for EWBC is its P/B ratio of 1.76. 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, FRC has a P/B of 2.15.

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

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


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East West Bancorp, Inc. (EWBC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Republic Bank (FRC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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