Investors interested in stocks from the Financial - Investment Management sector have probably already heard of Legg Mason (LM - Free Report) and Blackstone Group (BX - Free Report) . But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.
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 Zacks Rank favors stocks with strong earnings estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight companies with specific traits.
Currently, both Legg Mason and Blackstone Group are holding a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy). Investors should feel comfortable knowing that both of these stocks have an improving earnings outlook since the Zacks Rank favors companies that have witnessed positive analyst estimate revisions. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.
Value investors also tend to look at a number of traditional, tried-and-true figures to help them find stocks that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.
Our Value category highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.
LM currently has a forward P/E ratio of 18.03, while BX has a forward P/E of 26.96. We also note that LM has a PEG ratio of 1.58. 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. BX currently has a PEG ratio of 13.76.
Another notable valuation metric for LM is its P/B ratio of 1.14. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, BX has a P/B of 3.23.
These are just a few of the metrics contributing to LM's Value grade of B and BX's Value grade of D.
Both LM and BX are impressive stocks with solid earnings outlooks, but based on these valuation figures, we feel that LM is the superior value option right now.