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Are Investors Undervaluing United Continental (UAL) Right Now?

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Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

Of these, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.

Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.

One stock to keep an eye on is United Continental (UAL - Free Report) . UAL is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 8.10 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 8.81. Over the past year, UAL's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.18 and as low as 7.72, with a median of 8.93.

UAL is also sporting a PEG ratio of 0.36. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. UAL's industry currently sports an average PEG of 0.74. Over the last 12 months, UAL's PEG has been as high as 1.98 and as low as 0.35, with a median of 0.44.

Investors should also recognize that UAL has a P/B ratio of 2.39. 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. This company's current P/B looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/B of 2.40. Within the past 52 weeks, UAL's P/B has been as high as 2.85 and as low as 2.12, with a median of 2.39.

Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. UAL has a P/S ratio of 0.56. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.65.

Finally, our model also underscores that UAL has a P/CF ratio of 5.18. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 5.44. Over the past year, UAL's P/CF has been as high as 6.04 and as low as 4.27, with a median of 4.93.

These are just a handful of the figures considered in United Continental's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that UAL is an impressive value stock right now.

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