Investors with an interest in Diversified Operations stocks have likely encountered both Crane (CR - Free Report) and 3M (MMM - Free Report) . But which of these two companies is the best option for those looking for undervalued stocks? Let's 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.
Crane and 3M are sporting Zacks Ranks of #2 (Buy) and #3 (Hold) respectively, right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that CR is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.
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.
CR currently has a forward P/E ratio of 14.77, while MMM has a forward P/E of 18.92. We also note that CR has a PEG ratio of 1.43. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. MMM currently has a PEG ratio of 1.86.
Another notable valuation metric for CR is its P/B ratio of 3.42. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, MMM has a P/B of 10.61.
These are just a few of the metrics contributing to CR's Value grade of B and MMM's Value grade of D.
CR has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than MMM, so it seems like value investors will conclude that CR is the superior option right now.