Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.
Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.
Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.
One stock to keep an eye on is Atlantic Power (AT). AT is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 4.88, while its industry has an average P/E of 13.03. Over the past year, AT's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.70 and as low as -30.13, with a median of -13.86.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. AT has a P/S ratio of 0.88. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.92.
Finally, our model also underscores that AT has a P/CF ratio of 3.90. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 7.76. Over the past 52 weeks, AT's P/CF has been as high as 8.20 and as low as 3.29, with a median of 4.72.
These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Atlantic Power is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, AT feels like a great value stock at the moment.
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