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GWB or WAFD: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors looking for stocks in the Banks - Northeast sector might want to consider either Great Western Bancorp (GWB) or Washington Federal (WAFD). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

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.

Currently, Great Western Bancorp has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Washington Federal has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). Investors should feel comfortable knowing that GWB likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than WAFD has recently. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

Value investors are also interested in a number of tried-and-true valuation metrics that help show when 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.

GWB currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.25, while WAFD has a forward P/E of 11.76. We also note that GWB has a PEG ratio of 1.35. 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. WAFD currently has a PEG ratio of 1.68.

Another notable valuation metric for GWB is its P/B ratio of 1.03. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, WAFD has a P/B of 1.20.

Based on these metrics and many more, GWB holds a Value grade of B, while WAFD has a Value grade of C.

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


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