Investors with an interest in Utility - Electric Power stocks have likely encountered both Ameren (AEE - Free Report) and WEC Energy Group (WEC - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.
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 emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.
Right now, Ameren is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while WEC Energy Group has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). Investors should feel comfortable knowing that AEE likely has seen a stronger improvement to its earnings outlook than WEC has recently. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.
Value investors are also interested in a number of tried-and-true valuation metrics that help show when a company is undervalued at its 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.
AEE currently has a forward P/E ratio of 19.13, while WEC has a forward P/E of 19.61. We also note that AEE has a PEG ratio of 2.89. 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. WEC currently has a PEG ratio of 4.75.
Another notable valuation metric for AEE is its P/B ratio of 2.01. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, WEC has a P/B of 2.11.
These metrics, and several others, help AEE earn a Value grade of B, while WEC has been given a Value grade of C.
AEE has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than WEC, so it seems like value investors will conclude that AEE is the superior option right now.