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HFC or PSX: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
athenahealth (ATHN) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.

Investors looking for stocks in the Oil and Gas - Refining and Marketing sector might want to consider either HollyFrontier (HFC) or Phillips 66 (PSX). 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.

HollyFrontier has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Phillips 66 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 HFC is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. 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.

HFC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 11.38, while PSX has a forward P/E of 15.45. We also note that HFC has a PEG ratio of 1.27. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. PSX currently has a PEG ratio of 1.82.

Another notable valuation metric for HFC is its P/B ratio of 1.93. 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, PSX has a P/B of 2.12.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to HFC's Value grade of A and PSX's Value grade of C.

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


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