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FERG or ITW: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

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Investors looking for stocks in the Manufacturing - General Industrial sector might want to consider either Wolseley PLC (FERG - Free Report) or Illinois Tool Works (ITW - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks presents investors with the better value opportunity right now? Let's take a closer look.

We have found that the best way to discover great value opportunities is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with a great grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The Zacks Rank is a proven strategy that targets companies with positive earnings estimate revision trends, while our Style Scores work to grade companies based on specific traits.

Right now, Wolseley PLC is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Illinois Tool Works has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). Investors should feel comfortable knowing that FERG likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than ITW has recently. But this is only part of the picture 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.

The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

FERG currently has a forward P/E ratio of 21.50, while ITW has a forward P/E of 28.72. We also note that FERG has a PEG ratio of 2.30. 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. ITW currently has a PEG ratio of 2.57.

Another notable valuation metric for FERG is its P/B ratio of 8.07. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, ITW has a P/B of 21.80.

These metrics, and several others, help FERG earn a Value grade of B, while ITW has been given a Value grade of C.

FERG stands above ITW thanks to its solid earnings outlook, and based on these valuation figures, we also feel that FERG is the superior value option right now.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Wolseley PLC (FERG) - free report >>

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) - free report >>

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