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Should Value Investors Consider Aviva (AVVIY) Stock Now?

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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 Aviva plc (AVVIY - 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, Aviva has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 7.62, 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 stands at about 17.58. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Aviva’s current PE level puts it below its midpoint over the past five years. Moreover, the current level is fairly below the highs for this stock, suggesting it might be a good entry point.



Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 10.82. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.




We should also point out that Aviva has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 6.15, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Aviva stock in the near term too.

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, Aviva has a P/S ratio of about 0.33. This is significantly lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.16 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.




If anything, AVVIY is in the lower end of its range in the time period from a P/S metric, suggesting some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.

Broad Value Outlook

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

For example, its P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 6.20, which is better than the industry average of 7.65. Clearly, AVVIY is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Aviva 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 C and a Momentum score of B. This gives AVVIY a Zacks VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of A. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been mixed at best. The current year has seen one estimate go higher in the past sixty days compared to one lower, while the next year estimate has seen zero upward and two downward revisions in the same time period.

As a result, the current year consensus estimate has risen by 7.5% in the past two months, while the next year estimate has decreased 3%.

This somewhat mixed trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Aviva is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover, a strong industry rank (Top 31% out of more than 250 industries) further supports the growth potential of the stock.

However, with a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. In fact, over the past two years, the industry has underperformed the broader market, 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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