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ICL vs. ECL: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

Zacks Equity Research
Mohawk Industries (MHK) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

Investors with an interest in Chemical - Specialty stocks have likely encountered both Israel Chemicals (ICL) and Ecolab (ECL). 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.

Currently, Israel Chemicals has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Ecolab has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This means that ICL's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. 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.

Our Value category highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.

ICL currently has a forward P/E ratio of 13.54, while ECL has a forward P/E of 28.24. We also note that ICL has a PEG ratio of 1.42. 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. ECL currently has a PEG ratio of 2.21.

Another notable valuation metric for ICL is its P/B ratio of 1.85. 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, ECL has a P/B of 5.99.

These metrics, and several others, help ICL earn a Value grade of A, while ECL has been given a Value grade of D.

ICL has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than ECL, so it seems like value investors will conclude that ICL is the superior option right now.


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Israel Chemicals Shs (ICL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Ecolab Inc. (ECL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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