Investors with an interest in Banks - Northeast stocks have likely encountered both Peapack-Gladstone (PGC) and Independent Bank Corp. (INDB). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.
The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.
Right now, Peapack-Gladstone is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Independent Bank Corp. has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that PGC has an improving earnings outlook. 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.
PGC currently has a forward P/E ratio of 10.69, while INDB has a forward P/E of 12.80. We also note that PGC has a PEG ratio of 1.72. 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. INDB currently has a PEG ratio of 2.10.
Another notable valuation metric for PGC is its P/B ratio of 1.11. 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, INDB has a P/B of 1.40.
These metrics, and several others, help PGC earn a Value grade of B, while INDB has been given a Value grade of D.
PGC sticks out from INDB in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that PGC is the better option right now.