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 rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.
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 American Equity Investment (AEL). AEL is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 7.62. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 9.30. Over the last 12 months, AEL's Forward P/E has been as high as 10.49 and as low as 6.07, with a median of 8.45.
Investors should also recognize that AEL has a P/B ratio of 0.93. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. AEL's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 1.72. Within the past 52 weeks, AEL's P/B has been as high as 1.39 and as low as 0.84, with a median of 1.19.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. AEL has a P/S ratio of 0.77. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.8.
Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that American Equity Investment is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, AEL sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.
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