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Are Investors Undervaluing Jefferies (JEF) Right Now?

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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.

Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

One company to watch right now is Jefferies (JEF - Free Report) . JEF is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 9.94 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 13.29. Over the past 52 weeks, JEF's Forward P/E has been as high as 18.77 and as low as 7.98, with a median of 13.44.

Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. JEF has a P/S ratio of 1.12. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.54.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Jefferies is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, JEF feels like a great value stock at the moment.


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