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Is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) a Worthy Stock to Pick?

Zacks Equity Research

Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. REGN stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 18.56, as you can see in the chart below:


 
This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 compares in at about 20.83. If we focus on the stock’s long-term PE trend, the current level Regeneron Pharmaceuticals puts current PE ratio below its midpoint (which is 43.54) over the past five years.


 
Also, the stock’s PE compares favorably with the Zacks Medical sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 23.54. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.


 
We should also point out that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of 14.39, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for the stock in the near term too.

P/CF Ratio

An often overlooked ratio that can still be a great indicator of value is the price/cash flow metric. This ratio doesn’t take amortization and depreciation into account, so can give a more accurate picture of the financial health in a business. This is a preferred metric to some valuation investors because cash flows are (a) generally less prone to manipulation by the company’s management and (b) are less affected by variation in accounting policies between different companies.

The ratio is generally applied to find out whether a company’s stock is overpriced or underpriced with reference to its cash flows generation potential compared with its competitors. However, it is not commonly used for cross-industry comparison, as the average price to cash flow ratio varies from industry to industry.

In this case, the stock’s P/CF ratio of 18.59 is higher than the Zacks Medical-Biomed/Genetics industry average of 7.59, which indicates that the stock is somewhat overvalued in this respect.





Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals currently has a Value Style Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes REGN a solid choice for value investors and some of its other metrics make it clear too.

For example, the PEG ratio for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is just 0.89, a level that is considerably lower than the industry average of 1.62. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock’s earnings growth rate.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Regeneron Pharmaceuticals might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth grade of B and a Momentum score of A. This gives REGN a VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of B. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>).

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been encouraging. The current quarter has seen one estimate go lower in the past sixty days compared to none higher, while current year estimate has seen one upward and one downward revision in the same time period.

This has had a noticeable impact on the consensus estimate as the current quarter consensus estimate has inched up 0.4% in the past two months, while current year estimate has inched up 0.2% in the same time period. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and Consensus

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and Consensus

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Despite having a bullish trend, REGN sports a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). This indicates that analysts have some apprehensions about the stock in the immediate future. Thus, we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover, a strong industry rank (Top 37% out of more than 250 industries) further supports the growth potential of the stock. In fact, over the past one year, the sector has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:


 
So, despite a Zacks Rank #3, we believe that bullish analyst sentiment and favorable industry factors make this value stock a compelling pick.

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