While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.
Of these, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.
One stock to keep an eye on is Arch Coal (ARCH - Free Report) . ARCH is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) and an A for Value. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 6.40, while its industry has an average P/E of 8.21. ARCH's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.13 and as low as 6.11, with a median of 8.82, all within the past year.
Another valuation metric that we should highlight is ARCH's P/B ratio of 2.26. 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. This company's current P/B looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/B of 3.61. ARCH's P/B has been as high as 3.37 and as low as 2.16, with a median of 2.73, over the past year.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. ARCH has a P/S ratio of 0.65. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.69.
These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Arch Coal is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, ARCH feels like a great value stock at the moment.