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 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 stock to keep an eye on is United States Cellular (USM - Free Report) . USM is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value.
We should also highlight that USM has a P/B ratio of 0.96. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus 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 1.59. USM's P/B has been as high as 1.25 and as low as 0.74, with a median of 0.99, 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 popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. USM has a P/S ratio of 0.83. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.36.
Finally, our model also underscores that USM has a P/CF ratio of 5.01. 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 stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 5.25. Over the past year, USM's P/CF has been as high as 6.58 and as low as 3.71, with a median of 5.12.
These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that United States Cellular is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, USM feels like a great value stock at the moment.