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Is Photronics (PLAB) a Great Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
NantHealth, Inc. (NH) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 23.08% and -10.83%, respectively, for the quarter ended September 2018. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

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 company value investors might notice is Photronics (PLAB). PLAB is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 21.38 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 21.40. Over the last 12 months, PLAB's Forward P/E has been as high as 51.98 and as low as 11.98, with a median of 17.94.

Investors should also note that PLAB holds a PEG ratio of 2.14. 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. PLAB's industry has an average PEG of 2.14 right now. Over the last 12 months, PLAB's PEG has been as high as 5.20 and as low as 1.20, with a median of 1.79.

Another notable valuation metric for PLAB is its P/B ratio of 0.82. 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. PLAB's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 0.82. PLAB's P/B has been as high as 0.83 and as low as 0.56, with a median of 0.67, over the past year.

Finally, our model also underscores that PLAB has a P/CF ratio of 6.64. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 7.06. Within the past 12 months, PLAB's P/CF has been as high as 7.26 and as low as 4.92, with a median of 5.64.

Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that Photronics is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, PLAB sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.

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