Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.
Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.
Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.
Mercury General (MCY - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. MCY is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 11.72, while its industry has an average P/E of 22.47. Over the past 52 weeks, MCY's Forward P/E has been as high as 17.42 and as low as 10.25, with a median of 13.73.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. MCY has a P/S ratio of 0.67. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.83.
These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Mercury General is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, MCY feels like a great value stock at the moment.