Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.
Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. 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.
Cigna (CI - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. CI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 8.62, which compares to its industry's average of 8.76. Over the last 12 months, CI's Forward P/E has been as high as 14.12 and as low as 8.55, with a median of 12.41.
Investors should also note that CI holds a PEG ratio of 0.70. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. CI's industry currently sports an average PEG of 0.95. Over the last 12 months, CI's PEG has been as high as 1.16 and as low as 0.69, with a median of 1.02.
Another notable valuation metric for CI is its P/B ratio of 1.34. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This stock's P/B looks solid versus its industry's average P/B of 1.40. Over the past year, CI's P/B has been as high as 3.52 and as low as 1.30, with a median of 2.93.
Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CI has a P/S ratio of 0.75. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.07.
Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that Cigna is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, CI sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.