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.
Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader 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 stock to keep an eye on is Assurant (AIZ - Free Report) . AIZ is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 9.10 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 10.16. AIZ's Forward P/E has been as high as 15.23 and as low as 8.28, with a median of 13.10, all within the past year.
Investors should also recognize that AIZ has a P/B ratio of 0.99. 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. This stock's P/B looks solid versus its industry's average P/B of 1.37. Over the past 12 months, AIZ's P/B has been as high as 1.52 and as low as 0.86, with a median of 1.32.
Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. AIZ has a P/S ratio of 0.53. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.72.
These are only a few of the key metrics included in Assurant's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, AIZ looks like an impressive value stock at the moment.