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HLIO vs. IEX: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

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Investors looking for stocks in the Manufacturing - General Industrial sector might want to consider either Helios Technologies (HLIO - Free Report) or Idex (IEX - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.

Right now, Helios Technologies is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Idex has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that HLIO has an improving earnings outlook. 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.

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.

HLIO currently has a forward P/E ratio of 15.91, while IEX has a forward P/E of 25.52. We also note that HLIO has a PEG ratio of 1.33. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. IEX currently has a PEG ratio of 2.13.

Another notable valuation metric for HLIO is its P/B ratio of 3.21. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, IEX has a P/B of 5.14.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to HLIO's Value grade of B and IEX's Value grade of D.

HLIO 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 HLIO is likely the superior value option right now.


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