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AEE vs. EE: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

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Investors looking for stocks in the Utility - Electric Power sector might want to consider either Ameren (AEE - Free Report) or El Paso Electric (EE - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

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.

Ameren has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while El Paso Electric has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell) right now. Investors should feel comfortable knowing that AEE likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than EE has recently. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.

Value investors also tend to look at a number of traditional, tried-and-true figures to help them find stocks that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

The Style Score Value grade factors in a variety of key fundamental metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a number of other key stats that are commonly used by value investors.

AEE currently has a forward P/E ratio of 20.46, while EE has a forward P/E of 25.71. We also note that AEE has a PEG ratio of 3.13. 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. EE currently has a PEG ratio of 4.94.

Another notable valuation metric for AEE is its P/B ratio of 2.06. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, EE has a P/B of 2.24.

These metrics, and several others, help AEE earn a Value grade of B, while EE has been given a Value grade of C.

AEE is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that AEE is likely the superior value option right now.

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