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 rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.
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.
Harsco (HSC - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. HSC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) and an A for Value. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 11.16, while its industry has an average P/E of 12.27. Over the last 12 months, HSC's Forward P/E has been as high as 21.64 and as low as 10.63, with a median of 15.71.
Another notable valuation metric for HSC is its P/B ratio of 4.01. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to 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 5.88. Over the past 12 months, HSC's P/B has been as high as 9.01 and as low as 3.81, with a median of 5.80.
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. HSC has a P/S ratio of 0.85. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.12.
Finally, investors should note that HSC has a P/CF ratio of 5.83. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 14.05. Within the past 12 months, HSC's P/CF has been as high as 14.62 and as low as 5.54, with a median of 7.70.
These are only a few of the key metrics included in Harsco's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, HSC looks like an impressive value stock at the moment.