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How to Find Top-Ranked Value Stocks to Buy in April

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The stock market fell on Tuesday morning, driven lower by Tesla, Humana, and plenty of others. The market was due for a pullback after the strong first quarter. Stocks could be choppy as Wall Street waits on March jobs data on Friday and the unofficial start of Q1 earnings season at the end of next week.

No matter how the market trades in the coming days and weeks, investors might consider buying value-focused stocks to bolster their diversified portfolios.

Thankfully, there are tons of top-ranked value stocks to buy, especially if people know where to look.

Today we demonstrate how investors can screen for stocks that offer the potentially winning combination of impressive value and improving earnings outlooks to consider buying in April.

Screen Basics

The screen we are digging into today comes loaded with the Research Wizard and aims to sort through highly-ranked Zacks stocks to find some of the top value names.

This value-focused screen searches only for stocks that boast Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buys) or #2 (Buys). It also focuses on stocks with price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios under the median for its industry. The screen also looks for stocks with price-to-sales (P/S) ratios under the median for its industry to help lock in relative value compared to its peers, since basing it off the wider market is not always the most useful tool.

The screen then digs into quarterly earnings rates above the median for its industry. This particular Zacks screen also uses a special blend of upgrades and estimates revisions to select the best seven stocks in this list.

The screen basics are listed below…

·       Only Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) Stocks

·       P/E (using 12-month EPS) - Under the Median for its Industry

·       P/S - Under the Median for its Industry

·       Percentage Change Act. EPS Q(0)/Q(-1)

·       Rating Change and Revisions Factors (to help narrow the list to the 7 best stocks in this list)

This strategy comes loaded with the Research Wizard and it is called bt_sow_value_method1. It can be found in the SoW (Screen of the Week) folder.

The screen is pretty simple, yet powerful. Here is one of the seven stocks that made it through this week's screen…

Heritage Insurance Holdings, Inc. ((HRTG - Free Report) )

Heritage Insurance is a super-regional property and casualty insurance holding firm. Heritage Insurance writes approximately $1.4 billion of gross personal and commercial residential premium across its multi-state footprint covering the northeast, southeast, Hawaii and California excess and surplus lines.

The firm’s gross premiums earned jumped 7% YoY in Q4, “driven by rate actions taken in 2022 and 2023 across the book of business, as well as growth in commercial residential business.”

Heritage Insurance crushed our bottom line estimates by 155% in Q4 and boosted its outlook. HRTG’s FY24 consensus EPS estimate has jumped 7% since its March 11 report, while its FY25 figure has surged 19% to help it land its Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Heritage Insurance is projected to grow its revenue by 5% this year and next.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

HRTG’s Insurance - Property and Casualty segment is in the top 10% of over 250 Zacks industries. The stock trades at a 75% discount to its highly-ranked industry at 6.9X forward 12-month earnings. Heritage Insurance trades at a 60% discount to its year-long highs even though it has soared 270% during the last 12 months vs. its industry’s 34%.

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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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