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PINC vs. HQY: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

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Investors with an interest in Medical Services stocks have likely encountered both Premier, Inc. (PINC - Free Report) and HealthEquity (HQY - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.

Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Premier, Inc. has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while HealthEquity has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that PINC is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.

Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their 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.

PINC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 15.52, while HQY has a forward P/E of 43.55. We also note that PINC has a PEG ratio of 2.91. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. HQY currently has a PEG ratio of 3.26.

Another notable valuation metric for PINC is its P/B ratio of 2.17. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, HQY has a P/B of 2.89.

These metrics, and several others, help PINC earn a Value grade of B, while HQY has been given a Value grade of D.

PINC is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that PINC is likely the superior value option right now.


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