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Should Value Investors Buy Centene (CNC) Stock?

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The proven Zacks Rank system focuses on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find winning stocks. Nevertheless, we know that our readers all have their own perspectives, so we are always looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong picks.

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 tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.

One company to watch right now is Centene (CNC - Free Report) . CNC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 9.56, while its industry has an average P/E of 13.74. Over the past year, CNC's Forward P/E has been as high as 18.57 and as low as 9.41, with a median of 13.54.

Investors will also notice that CNC has a PEG ratio of 0.67. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. CNC's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 1.03. Within the past year, CNC's PEG has been as high as 1.26 and as low as 0.66, with a median of 0.97.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is CNC's P/B ratio of 1.54. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This stock's P/B looks attractive against its industry's average P/B of 3.11. Over the past 12 months, CNC's P/B has been as high as 2.81 and as low as 1.51, with a median of 2.15.

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 prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CNC has a P/S ratio of 0.27. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.44.

Finally, investors will want to recognize that CNC has a P/CF ratio of 10.24. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. CNC's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 12.30. Over the past 52 weeks, CNC's P/CF has been as high as 23.13 and as low as 10.04, with a median of 17.48.

These are just a handful of the figures considered in Centene's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that CNC is an impressive value stock right now.

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