While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.
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 fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.
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 company to watch right now is The Hartford (HIG - Free Report) . HIG is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A.
Investors should also recognize that HIG has a P/B ratio of 1.36. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. HIG's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 1.40. Over the past year, HIG's P/B has been as high as 1.53 and as low as 1.15, with a median of 1.37.
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 popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. HIG has a P/S ratio of 1.01. 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 The Hartford is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, HIG sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.