Investors interested in stocks from the Banks - West sector have probably already heard of Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY - Free Report) and Columbia Banking (COLB - 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 proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.
Currently, both Central Valley Community Bancorp and Columbia Banking are holding a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that these stocks have improving earnings outlooks. 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.
CVCY currently has a forward P/E ratio of 12.77, while COLB has a forward P/E of 15.13. We also note that CVCY has a PEG ratio of 1.60. 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. COLB currently has a PEG ratio of 2.16.
Another notable valuation metric for CVCY is its P/B ratio of 1.30. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, COLB has a P/B of 1.38.
These metrics, and several others, help CVCY earn a Value grade of B, while COLB has been given a Value grade of C.
Both CVCY and COLB are impressive stocks with solid earnings outlooks, but based on these valuation figures, we feel that CVCY is the superior value option right now.