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 Bayer AG (BAYRY - 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:
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, Bayer has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 14.4, 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 stands at about 21.4. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Bayer AG’s current PE level puts it below its midpoint over the past five years.
Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the broader industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 15.9. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is a little undervalued right now, compared to its peers.
We should also point out that Bayer AG has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 12.4, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Bayer AG stock in the near term too.
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, Bayer AG has a P/S ratio of about 2.3. This is lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.4x right now.
If anything, this suggests some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.
Broad Value Outlook
In aggregate, Bayer AG currently has a Value Score of A, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Bayer AG a solid choice for value investors.
For example, the PEG ratio is just 1.9, a level that is far lower than the industry average of 2.1. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock’s earnings growth rate. Additionally, its P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 9.2, which is far better than the industry average of 12.4. Clearly, BAYRY is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.
What About the Stock Overall?
Though Bayer AG 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 Score of C and a Momentum Score of D. This gives BAYRY a Zacks VGM score — or its overarching fundamental grade — of B. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)
Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been mixed at best. The current year consensus estimate has decreased by 6.6% in the past month, while the next year estimate has inched up by 2.6%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:
Bayer Aktiengesellschaft Price and Consensus
This somewhat mixed trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.
Bayer AG is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Furthermore, a solid industry rank (among Top 24% of more than 250 industries) instills investor confidence. On the flipside, over the past year, the broader industry has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:
We believe, despite an unsatisfactory past industry performance, a good industry rank signal that the stock is likely to benefit from favorable broader factors in the immediate future. However, with a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. So, value investors might want to wait for analyst sentiment to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.
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