Investors looking for stocks in the Banks - Midwest sector might want to consider either First Business Financial Services (FBIZ - Free Report) or Lakeland Financial (LKFN - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.
Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.
First Business Financial Services has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Lakeland Financial has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell) right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that FBIZ is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.
Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.
The Style Score Value grade factors in a variety of key fundamental metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a number of other key stats that are commonly used by value investors.
FBIZ currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.36, while LKFN has a forward P/E of 13.72. We also note that FBIZ has a PEG ratio of 1.29. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. LKFN currently has a PEG ratio of 1.37.
Another notable valuation metric for FBIZ is its P/B ratio of 1.11. 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. For comparison, LKFN has a P/B of 2.12.
These metrics, and several others, help FBIZ earn a Value grade of A, while LKFN has been given a Value grade of C.
FBIZ stands above LKFN thanks to its solid earnings outlook, and based on these valuation figures, we also feel that FBIZ is the superior value option right now.