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Zacks.com featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: City Office REIT, Popular, Edison International, Applied Optoelectronics and MDU Resources

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 31, 2019 – Stocks in this week’s article include City Office REIT, Inc. CIO, Popular, Inc. BPOP, Edison International EIX, Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. AAOI and MDU Resources Group, Inc. MDU. Kevin Matras screens for companies showing their 'first' profit and explains why they are ones to watch.

Screen of the Week written by Kevin Matras of Zacks Investment Research:

Tap These 5 Bargain Stocks with Impressive EV/EBITDA Ratios

The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is the most commonly used tool for evaluating a firm’s value due to its simplicity. A widely favored approach by value investors is to chase for stocks that have a low P/E ratio. However, even this broadly used valuation multiple is not without its shortcomings.

What Makes EV/EBITDA a Better Alternative?

Although P/E is preferred by many investors while uncovering bargain stocks, another valuation metric called EV/EBITDA does a better job. The ratio is sometimes viewed as a superior substitute as it offers a clearer picture of a firm’s valuation and its earnings potential. EV/EBITDA has a more comprehensive approach to valuation as it determines a firm’s total value. In contrast, P/E just considers a firm’s equity portion.

EV/EBITDA is the enterprise value (EV) of a stock divided by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). EV is the sum of a company’s market capitalization, its debt and preferred stock minus cash and cash equivalents.

EBITDA, the other component of the multiple, is a true reflection of a company’s profitability as it removes the impact of non-cash expenses like depreciation and amortization that dilute net earnings.

Generally, the lower the EV/EBITDA ratio, the more enticing it is. A low EV/EBITDA ratio could signal that a stock is potentially undervalued.  

EV/EBITDA takes into account the debt on a company’s balance sheet that P/E ratio does not. Given this reason, EV/EBITDA is usually used to value possible acquisition targets. Stocks with a low EV/EBITDA multiple could be seen as potential takeover candidates.

Another shortcoming of P/E is that it can’t be used to value a loss-making firm. A company’s earnings are also subject to accounting estimates and management manipulation. In contrast, EV/EBITDA is less open to manipulation and can also be used to value companies that are making loss but are EBITDA-positive.

EV/EBITDA is also a useful yardstick in assessing the value of firms that are highly leveraged and have a high degree of depreciation. It also can be used to compare companies with different levels of debt.

However, EV/EBITDA has its limitations too. It varies across industries and is generally not appropriate while comparing stocks in different industries given their diverse capital spending requirements.

Hence, a strategy entirely based on EV/EBITDA might not fetch the desired outcome. But you can club it with other major ratios such as price-to-book (P/B), P/E and price-to-sales (P/S) to screen bargain stocks.

 For the rest of this Screen of the Week article please visit Zacks.com at: https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/350173/tap-these-5-bargain-stocks-with-impressive-evebitda-ratios

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

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Edison International (EIX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MDU Resources Group, Inc. (MDU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Popular, Inc. (BPOP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. (AAOI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
City Office REIT, Inc. (CIO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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