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Is Piedmont Office (PDM) a Good Value Investor Stock Now?

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Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (PDM - Free Report) stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, Piedmont Office Realty Trust has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 8.7, as you can see in the chart below:


 
This level actually compares favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 23.87. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s current PE level puts it below its midpoint over the past five years. Moreover, the current level is fairly below the highs for this stock, suggesting it might be a good entry point.


 
However, the stock’s PE also compares unfavorably with the Zacks Finance sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 15.3. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is slightly overvalued right now, compared to its peers.


 
We should also point out that Piedmont Office Realty Trust has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 8.66, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s stock in the near term too.

P/CF Ratio

An often-overlooked ratio that can still be a great indicator of value is the price/cash flow metric. This ratio doesn’t take amortization and depreciation into account, so can give a more accurate picture of the financial health in a business. This is a preferred metric to some valuation investors because cash flows are (a) generally less prone to manipulation by the company’s management and (b) are less affected by variation in accounting policies between different companies.

The ratio is generally applied to find out whether a company’s stock is overpriced or underpriced with reference to its cash flows generation potential compared with its competitors. However, it is not commonly used for cross-industry comparison, as the average price to cash flow ratio varies from industry to industry.

In this case, Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s P/CF ratio of 9.94 is lower than the Zacks Reit-Eqty Trust-Other Market industry average of 21.73 which indicates that the stock is somewhat undervalued in this respect.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Piedmont Office Realty Trust currently has a Value Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Piedmont Office Realty Trust a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For example, the P/CF ratio for Piedmont Office Realty Trust comes in at 5.15, which is noticeably better than the industry average of 11.14. Clearly, PDM is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Piedmont Office Realty Trust might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth Score of D and Momentum Score of D. This gives PDM a Zacks VGM score — or its overarching fundamental grade — of C. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been encouraging. This has had a noticeable impact on the consensus estimate, as the current year consensus estimate increased 0.5% in the past two months, whereas the full-year 2021 estimate increased 2.6%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. Price and Consensus

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. Price and Consensus

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. Quote

Even with better estimate trends, the stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which is why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Piedmont Office Realty Trust is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. However, with a sluggish industry rank (bottom 15% out of more than 250 industries) and a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. In fact, over the past two years, the sector has clearly underperformed the market at large, as you can see below:

So, value investors might want to wait for estimates, analyst sentiment and broader factors to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.

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