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SWX or CPK: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors with an interest in Utility - Gas Distribution stocks have likely encountered both Southwest Gas (SWX) and Chesapeake Utilities (CPK). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

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 proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Southwest Gas and Chesapeake Utilities are sporting Zacks Ranks of #2 (Buy) and #3 (Hold), respectively, right now. Investors should feel comfortable knowing that SWX likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than CPK has recently. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their 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.

SWX currently has a forward P/E ratio of 19.57, while CPK has a forward P/E of 24.27. We also note that SWX has a PEG ratio of 3.91. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. CPK currently has a PEG ratio of 4.05.

Another notable valuation metric for SWX is its P/B ratio of 1.98. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, CPK has a P/B of 2.87.

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

SWX sticks out from CPK in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that SWX is the better option right now.


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