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Are Investors Undervaluing Encore Capital Group (ECPG) Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.

Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.

In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.

One company value investors might notice is Encore Capital Group (ECPG). ECPG is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 5.66, while its industry has an average P/E of 7.88. Over the last 12 months, ECPG's Forward P/E has been as high as 6.67 and as low as 3.99, with a median of 5.69.

ECPG is also sporting a PEG ratio of 0.47. 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. ECPG's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 0.70. Within the past year, ECPG's PEG has been as high as 0.97 and as low as 0.31, with a median of 0.41.

Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. ECPG has a P/S ratio of 0.79. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.37.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Encore Capital Group is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, ECPG feels like a great value stock at the moment.


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