Investors interested in stocks from the Banks - Midwest sector have probably already heard of Wintrust Financial (WTFC) and Lakeland Financial (LKFN). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.
The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.
Currently, Wintrust Financial has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Lakeland Financial has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that WTFC has an improving earnings outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.
Value investors also try to analyze a wide range of traditional figures and metrics to help determine whether a company is undervalued at its 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.
WTFC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 13.09, while LKFN has a forward P/E of 14.15. We also note that WTFC has a PEG ratio of 0.97. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. LKFN currently has a PEG ratio of 1.42.
Another notable valuation metric for WTFC is its P/B ratio of 1.46. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, LKFN has a P/B of 2.25.
These metrics, and several others, help WTFC earn a Value grade of B, while LKFN has been given a Value grade of C.
WTFC has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than LKFN, so it seems like value investors will conclude that WTFC is the superior option right now.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Wintrust Financial Corporation (WTFC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research