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NVEE or HCKT: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors interested in Consulting Services stocks are likely familiar with NV5 Holdings (NVEE) and Hackett Group (HCKT). 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.

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.

NV5 Holdings and Hackett Group are sporting Zacks Ranks of #2 (Buy) and #3 (Hold), respectively, right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that NVEE is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.

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.

NVEE currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.51, while HCKT has a forward P/E of 23.80. We also note that NVEE has a PEG ratio of 0.53. 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. HCKT currently has a PEG ratio of 1.76.

Another notable valuation metric for NVEE is its P/B ratio of 1.68. 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, HCKT has a P/B of 3.01.

These metrics, and several others, help NVEE earn a Value grade of A, while HCKT has been given a Value grade of C.

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


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