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Is Lannett (LCI) a Great Stock for Value Investors?

LCI

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Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put Lannett Co Inc (LCI - Free Report) stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, Lannett has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 5.9, as you can see in the chart below:

This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 compares in at about 18.45. If we focus on the stock’s long-term PE trend, the current level puts Lannett’s current PE ratio below its midpoint over the past five years.

Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the Zacks Medical- Drugs industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 46.58. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

However, we should also point out that Lannett has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of 6.08,  above the past five years’ trailing twelve month PE ratio. So it is fair to say that the stock price might appreciate in the near future.

P/S Ratio

Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock’s price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.

Right now, Lannett has a P/S ratio of about 1.21. This is a bit lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.10 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.

If anything, LCI is in the lower end of its range in the time period from a P/S metric, suggesting some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Lannett currently has a Zacks Value Style Score of ‘A’, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Lannett a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For example, the PEG ratio for Lannett is just 0.68, a level that is far lower than the industry average of 0.97. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock’s earnings growth rate. Clearly, LCI is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Lannett might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth grade of ‘C’ and a Momentum score of ‘B. This gives LCI a Zacks VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of ‘A’. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company has witnessed favorable estimate revision recently. The current quarter has seen two estimates go higher in the past sixty days compared to one lower, while the full year estimate has seen three up and one down in the same time period.

This has had just a small impact on the consensus estimate though as the current quarter consensus estimate has risen by 2.3% in the past two months and the full year estimate has gone up by 3.9%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Lannett Co Inc Price and Consensus

Lannett Co Inc Price and Consensus | Lannett Co Inc Quote

This somewhat favorable trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and why we are looking for better performance from the company in the near term

Bottom Line

Lannett is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover,a strong industry rank (Top 36% out of more than 250 industries) bolsters the company’s future growth potential.

However, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall as over the past two  years, the Zacks Medical-Drugs industry has underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:

So, value investors might want to wait for the broader factors to further turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.

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