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CNC or UNH: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

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Investors with an interest in Medical - HMOs stocks have likely encountered both Centene (CNC - Free Report) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive 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.

Currently, Centene has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while UnitedHealth Group has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). Investors should feel comfortable knowing that CNC likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than UNH has recently. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.

Value investors are also interested in a number of tried-and-true valuation metrics that help show when 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.

CNC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 13.58, while UNH has a forward P/E of 19.70. We also note that CNC has a PEG ratio of 0.96. 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. UNH currently has a PEG ratio of 1.56.

Another notable valuation metric for CNC is its P/B ratio of 1.52. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, UNH has a P/B of 4.60.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to CNC's Value grade of A and UNH's Value grade of C.

CNC has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than UNH, so it seems like value investors will conclude that CNC is the superior option right now.


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