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.
Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
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 Barrett Business Services (BBSI - Free Report) . BBSI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 14.10, while its industry has an average P/E of 22.86. BBSI's Forward P/E has been as high as 19.73 and as low as 10.05, with a median of 14.16, all within the past year.
We should also highlight that BBSI has a P/B ratio of 4.75. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against 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 7.94. BBSI's P/B has been as high as 9.36 and as low as 3.45, with a median of 5.21, 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 prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. BBSI has a P/S ratio of 0.61. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.13.
Finally, investors will want to recognize that BBSI has a P/CF ratio of 13.77. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. This company's current P/CF looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 19.68. Over the past 52 weeks, BBSI's P/CF has been as high as 22.59 and as low as 10.03, with a median of 14.64.
These are only a few of the key metrics included in Barrett Business Services's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, BBSI looks like an impressive value stock at the moment.