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Are Investors Undervaluing These Finance Stocks Right Now?

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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.

Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

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 stock to keep an eye on is Alerus Financial (ALRS). ALRS is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A.

Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. ALRS has a P/S ratio of 2.06. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.61.

Finally, we should also recognize that ALRS has a P/CF ratio of 8.36. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 26.18. Within the past 12 months, ALRS's P/CF has been as high as 10.80 and as low as 7, with a median of 8.40.

Lufax (LU) may be another strong Financial - Miscellaneous Services stock to add to your shortlist. LU is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value grade of A.

Lufax is trading at a forward earnings multiple of 4.42 at the moment, with a PEG ratio of 0.27. This compares to its industry's average P/E of 12.54 and average PEG ratio of 0.66.

Over the last 12 months, LU's P/E has been as high as 19.33, as low as 4.28, with a median of 8.62, and its PEG ratio has been as high as 3.29, as low as 0.26, with a median of 0.59.

Lufax also has a P/B ratio of 0.94 compared to its industry's price-to-book ratio of 4.61. Over the past year, its P/B ratio has been as high as 3.57, as low as 0.85, with a median of 1.67.

These are just a handful of the figures considered in Alerus Financial and Lufax's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that ALRS and LU is an impressive value stock right now.


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