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Should Value Investors Buy Independent Bank (IBCP) Stock?

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Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.

One company to watch right now is Independent Bank (IBCP - Free Report) . IBCP 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 7.72, which compares to its industry's average of 10.19. Over the last 12 months, IBCP's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.16 and as low as 7.54, with a median of 9.67.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is IBCP's P/B ratio of 1.14. 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. This stock's P/B looks solid versus its industry's average P/B of 1.94. Over the past 12 months, IBCP's P/B has been as high as 1.38 and as low as 1.08, with a median of 1.23.

Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. IBCP has a P/S ratio of 1.93. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.93.

Finally, investors will want to recognize that IBCP has a P/CF ratio of 5.78. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. IBCP's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 18.81. Within the past 12 months, IBCP's P/CF has been as high as 7.39 and as low as 5.26, with a median of 6.13.

Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that Independent Bank is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, IBCP sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.


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