Should Value Investors Buy These Business Services Stocks?

Should Value Investors Buy These Business Services Stocks?

The proven Zacks Rank system focuses on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find winning stocks. Nevertheless, we know that our readers all have their own perspectives, so we are always looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong picks.

Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.

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 Charles River Associates (CRAI) . CRAI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and an A for Value. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 17.14, while its industry has an average P/E of 26.72. Over the past year, CRAI’s Forward P/E has been as high as 23.16 and as low as 15.96, with a median of 19.10.

Investors will also notice that CRAI has a PEG ratio of 1.11. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company’s expected earnings growth rate. CRAI’s industry has an average PEG of 2.37 right now. Over the last 12 months, CRAI’s PEG has been as high as 1.73 and as low as 1.03, with a median of 1.24.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is CRAI’s P/B ratio of 3.23. 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. CRAI’s current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry’s average P/B of 5.83. Within the past 52 weeks, CRAI’s P/B has been as high as 4.22 and as low as 2.20, with a median of 3.19.

Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock’s price with the company’s revenue. This is a prefered metric because revenue can’t really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CRAI has a P/S ratio of 1.15. This compares to its industry’s average P/S of 1.83.

Finally, investors will want to recognize that CRAI has a P/CF ratio of 10.03. 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. This company’s current P/CF looks solid when compared to its industry’s average P/CF of 18.39. Within the past 12 months, CRAI’s P/CF has been as high as 13.33 and as low as 9.09, with a median of 11.19.

If you’re looking for another solid Consulting Services value stock, take a look at Huron Consulting Group (HURN) . HURN is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value score of A.

Shares of Huron Consulting Group currently holds a Forward P/E ratio of 15.26, and its PEG ratio is 1.41. In comparison, its industry sports average P/E and PEG ratios of 26.72 and 2.37.

Over the past year, HURN’s P/E has been as high as 22.61, as low as 14.45, with a median of 17.62; its PEG ratio has been as high as 1.58, as low as 1.38, with a median of 1.24 during the same time period.

Huron Consulting Group also has a P/B ratio of 1.82 compared to its industry’s price-to-book ratio of 5.83. Over the past year, its P/B ratio has been as high as 2.42, as low as 1.66, with a median of 2.06.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Charles River Associates and Huron Consulting Group are likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, CRAI and HURN feels like a great value stock at the moment.

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