Investment in stocks made after an analysis of valuation metrics is usually considered one of the best practices. When considering valuation metrics, price-to-earnings ratio has always been the obvious choice. This is because calculations based on earnings are easy and come in handy. However, price-to-sales has emerged as a convenient tool to determine the value of stocks that are incurring losses or are in an early cycle of development, generating meager or no profits.
While a loss-making company with a negative price-to-earnings ratio falls out of investor favor, its price-to-sales could indicate the hidden strength of the business. This underrated ratio is also used to identify a recovery situation or ensure that a company's growth is not overvalued. A stock’s price-to-sales ratio reflects how much investors are paying for each dollar of revenues generated by a company. If the price-to-sales ratio is 1, it means that investors are paying $1 for every $1 of revenues generated by the company. So, it goes without saying that a stock with a price-to-sales below 1 is a good bargain as investors need to pay less than a dollar for a dollar’s worth. Thus, a stock with a lower price-to-sales ratio is a more suitable investment than a stock with a high price-to-sales ratio. Price-to-sales is often preferred to price-to-earnings as companies can manipulate their earnings using various accounting measures. However, sales are harder to manipulate and are relatively reliable. However, one should keep in mind that a company with high debt and low price-to-sales is not an ideal choice. The high debt level will have to be paid off at some point, leading to further share issuance, rise in market cap and ultimately a higher price-to-sales ratio. In any case, the price-to-sales ratio used in isolation cannot do the trick. One should also analyze other ratios like Price/Earnings, Price/Book and Debt/Equity before arriving at any investment decision. Screening Parameters
Price to Sales less than Median Price to Sales for its Industry: The lower the price-to-sales ratio, the better. Price to Earnings using F(1) estimate less than Median Price to Earnings for its Industry: The lower, the better. Price to Book (common Equity) less than Median Price to Book for its Industry: This is another parameter to ensure the value feature of a stock. Debt to Equity (Most Recent) less than Median Debt to Equity for its Industry: A company with less debt should have a stable price-to-sales ratio. Current Price greater than or equal to $5: The stocks must be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher. Zacks Rank less than or equal to #2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform irrespective of the market environment. Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best opportunities in the value investing space. Value Score less than or equal to B: Here are seven of the 24 stocks that qualified the screening: Westlake Chemical Partners LP ( WLKP Quick Quote WLKP - Free Report) operates, acquires and develops ethylene production facilities and related assets in the United States. It also sells ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen directly to third parties on a spot or a contract basis. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of A. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 3.3%. Silgan Holdings Inc. ( SLGN Quick Quote SLGN - Free Report) is a leading supplier of rigid packaging for consumer goods products. Its products are used in diverse end markets. It is the largest metal-container supplier for food products in North America. Silgan operates 100 manufacturing facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Value Score of B. It has an estimated 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 5%. Standard Motor Products, Inc. ( SMP Quick Quote SMP - Free Report) is one of the leading manufacturers, distributors, and marketers of premium automotive replacement parts for engine management and temperature control systems. It majorly focuses on the heavy-duty industrial and the original equipment market. The stock currently has a Value Score of B and a Zacks Rank #1. The ODP Corporation ( ODP Quick Quote ODP - Free Report) is one of the leading providers of business services, products and digital workplace technology solutions through an integrated B2B distribution platform. The ODP Corporation replaced Office Depot, Inc. on Nasdaq. The company reports through three segments: Business Solutions Division, also referred to as BSD, Retail Division and CompuCom Division. The 3-5 year EPS growth rate for the stock is estimated at 6.8%. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and Zacks Rank #1. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here DCP Midstream Partners, LP ( DCP Quick Quote DCP - Free Report) owns and operates a portfolio of midstream energy assets in the United States. It owns and operates approximately 44 natural gas processing plants and 51,000 miles of natural gas gathering and transmission systems. It serves petrochemical and refining companies, and retail propane distributors. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Value Score of B. Herndon, VA-based ePlus inc. ( PLUS Quick Quote PLUS - Free Report) provides information technology solutions to enable organizations optimize their information technology environment and supply chain processes in the United States. The stock currently has a Value Score of B and Zacks Rank #2. AAR Corp. ( AIR Quick Quote AIR - Free Report) provides various products and services to the aviation and defense industries worldwide. Its principal customers include The Boeing Company and Airbus. The company reports through two business segments — Aviation Services and Expeditionary Services. The stock currently has a Value Score of B and Zacks Rank #2. You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge. The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your trial to the Research Wizard today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out. . Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today 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. Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: . https://www.zacks.com/performance