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.
Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.
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 company value investors might notice is CRA International (CRAI - Free Report) . CRAI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) and an A for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 17, which compares to its industry's average of 22.37. Over the past 52 weeks, CRAI's Forward P/E has been as high as 19.48 and as low as 12.40, with a median of 15.06.
We also note that CRAI holds a PEG ratio of 1.31. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. CRAI's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 1.98. Within the past year, CRAI's PEG has been as high as 1.31 and as low as 0.78, with a median of 1.10.
We should also highlight that CRAI has a P/B ratio of 1.99. 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 solid versus its industry's average P/B of 5.80. CRAI's P/B has been as high as 2.16 and as low as 1.41, with a median of 1.71, 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. CRAI has a P/S ratio of 0.88. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.71.
Finally, investors will want to recognize that CRAI has a P/CF ratio of 11.14. 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. CRAI's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 15.12. CRAI's P/CF has been as high as 19 and as low as 8.32, with a median of 10.54, all within the past year.
These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that CRA International is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, CRAI feels like a great value stock at the moment.