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Apple fiscal Q4 earnings preview

FBIZ or LKFN: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors interested in Banks - Midwest stocks are likely familiar with First Business Financial Services (FBIZ) and Lakeland Financial (LKFN). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

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

First Business Financial Services has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Lakeland Financial has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that FBIZ is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

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.

FBIZ currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.82, while LKFN has a forward P/E of 14.78. We also note that FBIZ has a PEG ratio of 1.35. 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. LKFN currently has a PEG ratio of 1.48.

Another notable valuation metric for FBIZ is its P/B ratio of 1.13. 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. By comparison, LKFN has a P/B of 2.37.

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

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

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First Business Financial Services, Inc. (FBIZ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Zacks Investment Research