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WTFC or LKFN: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors interested in Banks - Midwest stocks are likely familiar with 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.

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 emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.

Wintrust Financial and Lakeland Financial are sporting Zacks Ranks of #2 (Buy) and #3 (Hold), respectively, right now. This means that WTFC's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

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 highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.

WTFC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.34, while LKFN has a forward P/E of 12.50. We also note that WTFC has a PEG ratio of 0.77. 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 1.25.

Another notable valuation metric for WTFC is its P/B ratio of 1.16. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, LKFN has a P/B of 1.96.

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.


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Wintrust Financial Corporation (WTFC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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