Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?
One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT - Free Report) stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:
A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.
On this front, Allegiant Travel has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 11.8, as you can see in the chart below:
This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 compares in at about 17.5. If we focus on the stock’s long-term PE trend, the current level puts Allegiant Travel’s current PE ratio slightly below its midpoint (which is 14.5) over the past five years.
Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 15.9. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.
We should also point out that Allegiant Travel has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 9.6, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Allegiant Travel’s stock in the near term too.
Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock’s price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.
Right now, Allegiant Travel has a P/S ratio of about 1.2. This is somewhat lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.1 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is considerably below the highs for this stock in particular over the past couple of years.
If anything, this suggests some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.
Broad Value Outlook
In aggregate, Allegiant Travel currently has a Value Style Score of A, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes ALGT a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.
For example, the PEG ratio for Allegiant Travel is just 0.4, a level that is marginally lower than the industry average of 0.5. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock’s earnings growth rate. Clearly, ALGT is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.
What About the Stock Overall?
Though Allegiant Travel might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth grade of F and a Momentum score of A. This gives ALGT a VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of B. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)
Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been encouraging. The current quarter has seen six estimates go higher in the past sixty days, compared to none lower, while the full year estimate has seen a similar trend in the same time period.
This has had a favorable impact on the consensus estimate, as the current quarter consensus estimate has climbed about 23.5% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has risen nearly 4.1%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:
This favorable trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and why we are looking for better performance from the company in the near term.
Allegiant Travel is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Boasting a robust industry rank (top 4% out of more than 250 industries) and a strong Zacks Rank, the company deserves attention right now. However, over the past one year, the sector has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:
So, value investors might want to wait for industry trends to turn favorable in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.
Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019
In addition to the stocks discussed above, wouldn't you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year?
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