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RIO or BHP: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

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Investors looking for stocks in the Mining - Miscellaneous sector might want to consider either Rio Tinto (RIO) or BHP (BHP). But which of these two stocks presents investors with the better value opportunity right now? Let's take a closer look.

We have found that the best way to discover great value opportunities is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with a great grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The Zacks Rank favors stocks with strong earnings estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight companies with specific traits.

Right now, Rio Tinto is sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while BHP has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that RIO has an improving earnings outlook. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

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.

The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

RIO currently has a forward P/E ratio of 5.33, while BHP has a forward P/E of 7.61. We also note that RIO has a PEG ratio of 1.25. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. BHP currently has a PEG ratio of 1.84.

Another notable valuation metric for RIO is its P/B ratio of 2.07. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, BHP has a P/B of 2.43.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to RIO's Value grade of B and BHP's Value grade of C.

RIO has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than BHP, so it seems like value investors will conclude that RIO is the superior option right now.


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