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Should Value Investors Buy These Finance Stocks?

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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.

On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.

Financial Institutions (FISI - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. FISI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 9, which compares to its industry's average of 12.82. Over the past 52 weeks, FISI's Forward P/E has been as high as 10.79 and as low as 7.44, with a median of 9.06.

Another notable valuation metric for FISI is its P/B ratio of 1.03. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This stock's P/B looks attractive against its industry's average P/B of 1.71. Over the past 12 months, FISI's P/B has been as high as 1.16 and as low as 0.73, with a median of 1.05.

Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. FISI has a P/S ratio of 2.34. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.9.

Finally, we should also recognize that FISI has a P/CF ratio of 5.86. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. FISI's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 17.36. FISI's P/CF has been as high as 10.58 and as low as 5.64, with a median of 6.90, all within the past year.

Fulton Financial (FULT - Free Report) may be another strong Banks - Northeast stock to add to your shortlist. FULT is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value grade of A.

Furthermore, Fulton Financial holds a P/B ratio of 1.04 and its industry's price-to-book ratio is 1.71. FULT's P/B has been as high as 1.20, as low as 0.84, with a median of 1.03 over the past 12 months.

These are only a few of the key metrics included in Financial Institutions and Fulton Financial strong Value grade, but they help show that the stocks are likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, FISI and FULT look like an impressive value stock at the moment.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Financial Institutions, Inc. (FISI) - free report >>

Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT) - free report >>

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