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Scoop Up These 7 Low Price-to-Sales Stocks to Reap Gains

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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 ratio is often preferred over 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 ratio 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.

Value Score less than or equal to B: 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.

Here are seven of the 40 stocks that qualified the screening:

Bassett Furniture Industries (BSET - Free Report) is a home furnishing retailer with operations in the United States and internationally. It engages in designing, manufacturing, sourcing, distribution, and sale of furniture products to a network of company-owned and licensee-owned Bassett Home Furnishings retail stores, as well as independent furniture retailers; and wood and upholstery operations. The stock currently has a Value Score of B and a Zacks Rank #1. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 16%.

Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR - Free Report) is an operator of discount variety stores offering merchandise and other assortments. Its stores successfully operate in major metropolitan areas, mid-sized cities and small towns. The company offers a wide range of quality everyday general merchandise in many categories, including housewares, seasonal goods, candy and food, toys, health and beauty care, gifts, party goods, stationery, books, personal accessories, and other consumer items. Its stores are supported by a nationwide logistics network and distribution centers. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of B. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 10.9%.

Woodlands, TX-based Huntsman Corporation (HUN - Free Report) is among the world's largest manufacturers of differentiated and commodity chemical products. The company markets its products to a diverse group of industrial and consumer customers. Its products include MDI, polyols, propylene oxide, amines, surfactants, maleic anhydride, epoxy-based polymer formulations, textile chemicals and dyes. Huntsman’s products are used in a number of applications including aerospace, automotive, construction products, adhesives, personal care and hygiene, durable and nondurable consumer products, digital inks, electronics, medical, packaging, coatings and construction, power generation, refining and textile chemicals. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of B. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 8.9%.

Vishay Intertechnology (VSH - Free Report) is a global manufacturer and supplier of semiconductors and passive components. Semiconductor products include metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), diodes and optoelectronic components. These are typically used to perform functions such as switching, amplifying, rectifying, routing or transmitting electrical signals, power conversion, and power management. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 20.3%. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Standard Motor Products, Inc. (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 heavy-duty industrial and original equipment market. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of A.

World Fuel Services Corporation (INT - Free Report) is a leading global fuel services company, engaged in the distribution of fuel, and related products and services in the aviation, marine, and land transportation industries. The 3-5 year EPS growth rate for the stock is estimated at 5%. The stock currently has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #2.

Quanta Services Inc. (PWR - Free Report) is a leading national provider of specialty contracting services and one of the largest contractors serving the transmission and distribution sector of the North American electric utility industry. Quanta Services has operations in the United States., Canada, Australia and other selected international markets. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a Value Score of B.

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.

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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.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.