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 a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.
One stock to keep an eye on is Hilltop Holdings (HTH - Free Report) . HTH is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 11.60 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 11.81. Over the past year, HTH's Forward P/E has been as high as 13.70 and as low as 9.83, with a median of 12.18.
Another valuation metric that we should highlight is HTH's P/B ratio of 1.06. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against 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 1.56. Over the past 12 months, HTH's P/B has been as high as 1.16 and as low as 0.80, with a median of 0.95.
Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. HTH has a P/S ratio of 1.21. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.82.
Finally, we should also recognize that HTH has a P/CF ratio of 10.85. This figure highlights a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find firms that are undervalued when considering their impressive cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 12.91. HTH's P/CF has been as high as 17.21 and as low as 10.83, with a median of 14.45, all within the past year.
These are just a handful of the figures considered in Hilltop Holdings'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 HTH is an impressive value stock right now.