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 use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
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 Encore Capital Group (ECPG - Free Report) . ECPG is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 5.51, while its industry has an average P/E of 7.83. Over the past year, ECPG's Forward P/E has been as high as 6.67 and as low as 3.99, with a median of 5.63.
ECPG is also sporting a PEG ratio of 0.37. 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. ECPG's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 0.71. ECPG's PEG has been as high as 0.51 and as low as 0.31, with a median of 0.41, all within the past year.
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. ECPG has a P/S ratio of 0.8. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.43.
These are just a handful of the figures considered in Encore Capital Group'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 ECPG is an impressive value stock right now.