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SSW vs. KEX: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

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Investors interested in Transportation - Shipping stocks are likely familiar with Seaspan (SSW - Free Report) and Kirby (KEX - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Seaspan has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Kirby has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell) right now. This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that SSW is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.

Value investors also try to analyze a wide range of traditional figures and metrics to help determine whether a company is undervalued at its current share price levels.

The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

SSW currently has a forward P/E ratio of 14.33, while KEX has a forward P/E of 29.31. We also note that SSW has a PEG ratio of 1.12. 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. KEX currently has a PEG ratio of 2.92.

Another notable valuation metric for SSW is its P/B ratio of 0.76. 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. By comparison, KEX has a P/B of 1.51.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to SSW's Value grade of B and KEX's Value grade of D.

SSW is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that SSW is likely the superior value option right now.


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