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, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.
In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.
One company value investors might notice is Southern First (SFST). SFST is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and an A for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 7.83, which compares to its industry's average of 13.01. Over the past year, SFST's Forward P/E has been as high as 12.86 and as low as 5.94, with a median of 11.50.
Another notable valuation metric for SFST is its P/B ratio of 1.06. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. SFST's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 1.65. SFST's P/B has been as high as 1.70 and as low as 0.80, with a median of 1.52, over the past year.
Finally, we should also recognize that SFST has a P/CF ratio of 7.39. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. SFST's current P/CF looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 13.42. SFST's P/CF has been as high as 12.02 and as low as 5.60, with a median of 10.95, all within the past year.
Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that Southern First is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, SFST sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.