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Are Investors Undervaluing Centene (CNC) Right Now?

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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.

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 tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.

One company value investors might notice is Centene (CNC - Free Report) . CNC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 11.10. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 16.67. Over the last 12 months, CNC's Forward P/E has been as high as 14.34 and as low as 9.31, with a median of 10.44.

Investors will also notice that CNC has a PEG ratio of 0.87. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. CNC's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 1.24. Over the past 52 weeks, CNC's PEG has been as high as 1.07 and as low as 0.71, with a median of 0.88.

Another notable valuation metric for CNC is its P/B ratio of 1.56. 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. This stock's P/B looks attractive against its industry's average P/B of 3.87. Over the past 12 months, CNC's P/B has been as high as 1.94 and as low as 1.29, with a median of 1.48.

Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CNC has a P/S ratio of 0.26. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.61.

Finally, our model also underscores that CNC has a P/CF ratio of 10.56. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. CNC's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 15.31. Within the past 12 months, CNC's P/CF has been as high as 16.67 and as low as 8.17, with a median of 12.22.

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

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