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VNTR vs. ECL: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

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Investors looking for stocks in the Chemical - Specialty sector might want to consider either Ventator Materials (VNTR - Free Report) or Ecolab (ECL - 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.

There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. 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.

Currently, Ventator Materials has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Ecolab has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that VNTR is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

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.

VNTR currently has a forward P/E ratio of 5.66, while ECL has a forward P/E of 31.56. We also note that VNTR has a PEG ratio of 1.84. 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. ECL currently has a PEG ratio of 2.49.

Another notable valuation metric for VNTR is its P/B ratio of 0.32. 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, ECL has a P/B of 6.36.

Based on these metrics and many more, VNTR holds a Value grade of B, while ECL has a Value grade of D.

VNTR sticks out from ECL in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that VNTR is the better option right now.


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


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Ecolab Inc. (ECL) - free report >>

Venator Materials PLC (VNTR) - free report >>

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