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Can Value Investors Consider Lydall (LDL) as a Good Pick?

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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 Lydall, Inc. (LDL - 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:

PE Ratio

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, Lydall has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 10.62, as you can see in the chart below:

This level actually compares quite favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 18.13. Also, if we focus on the long-term PE trend, Lydall’s current PE level puts it way below its midpoint of 17 over the past five years.

Further, the stock’s PE compares quite favorably with the Conglomerates Market’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 20.26. This indicates that the stock is quite undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

However, Lydall has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of 13.7, which is higher than the current level. So, it is fair expect an increase in the share price in near future.

P/S Ratio

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, Lydall has a P/S ratio of just 0.57. This is quite lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.3 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this stands below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Lydall currently has a Value Score of A, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Lydall a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For instance, the stock’s P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 5.93, which is far better than the industry average of 9.54. Clearly, LDL is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Lydall 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 Score of C and a Momentum Score of F. This gives LDL a Zacks 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 downbeat. The current quarter has seen no upward against one downward revision in the past sixty days, while the full year estimate has seen no upward versus one downward revision in the same time period.

This has had a negative impact on the consensus estimate as the current quarter consensus estimate has dipped 17.4% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has inched down 0.5%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Lydall, Inc. Price and Consensus

Lydall, Inc. Price and Consensus | Lydall, Inc. Quote

This bearish trend lends the stock a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and it is the reason why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Lydall is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Despite a strong industry rank (among Top 36% of more than 250 industries), with a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about the stock.

In fact, over the past two years, the broader industry has clearly underperformed the market at large, as you can see below:

So, value investors might want to wait for estimates and analyst sentiment to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.

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