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ALC or IDXX: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

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Investors with an interest in Medical - Instruments stocks have likely encountered both Alcon (ALC - Free Report) and Idexx Laboratories (IDXX - 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 proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Right now, Alcon is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Idexx Laboratories 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 ALC has an improving earnings outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.

Value investors also try to analyze a wide range of traditional figures and metrics to help determine whether 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.

ALC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 25.61, while IDXX has a forward P/E of 46.85. We also note that ALC has a PEG ratio of 1.72. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. IDXX currently has a PEG ratio of 2.61.

Another notable valuation metric for ALC is its P/B ratio of 1.73. 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, IDXX has a P/B of 29.48.

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

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

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