In value stock analysis, most investors use the P/E ratio to look for lucrative stocks, but there are other ratios an investor may consider such as the price-to-sales (P/S) ratio and the price-to-book (P/B) ratio. The P/S ratio is simply price divided by sales. One of the reasons the P/S ratio is a better choice is that it looks at sales rather than earnings like the P/E ratio does. However, the P/E ratio, although used less often, is also an easy-to-use valuation tool to identify low-priced stocks with big returns.
The P/B ratio is calculated as follows:
P/B ratio = market capitalization / book value of equity
The P/B ratio helps identify low-priced stocks that have high growth prospects. Vishay Intertechnology (VSH – free report), Group 1 Automotive (PGI – free report), celestial (CLS – free report), Hunter’s Society (HUN – free report), and Signet Jewelers Limited (GIS – Free Report) are some of these stocks.
Now let’s understand the concept of book value.
What is the book value?
Book value is the total value that would remain, according to the company’s balance sheet, if it went bankrupt immediately. In other words, it’s what shareholders would theoretically receive if a company liquidated all of its assets after settling all of its liabilities.
It is calculated by subtracting the total liabilities from the total assets of a business. In most cases, this equates to common shareholders’ equity on the balance sheet. However, according to the company’s balance sheet, intangible assets must also be subtracted from total assets to determine book value.
Understanding the P/B ratio
By comparing the book value of equity to its market price, we get an idea if a company is undervalued or overvalued. However, like the P/E or P/S ratio, it is always best to compare P/B ratios within industries.
An AP/B ratio of less than one means the stock is trading at a price below its book value, or the stock is undervalued and therefore a good buy. Conversely, a stock with a ratio greater than one can be interpreted as being overvalued or relatively expensive.
For example, a stock with a P/B ratio of 2 means we pay $2 for every $1 of book value. Thus, the higher the P/B, the more expensive the stock.
But there is a caveat. An AP/B ratio of less than one can also mean that the company is getting low or even negative returns on its assets or that the assets are overvalued, in which case the stock should be avoided as it can destroy shareholder value. Conversely, the price of the stock may be significantly high – thereby pushing the P/B ratio to more than one – in the likely event that it has become a buyout target, reason enough to hold the stock. .
Moreover, the P/B ratio is not without limits. It is useful for businesses – such as finance, investments, insurance, and banking or manufacturing companies – with many liquid/tangible assets on the books. However, this can be misleading for companies with large R&D expenses, high debt, service companies, or those with negative earnings.
In any case, the ratio is not particularly relevant as a stand-alone number. Other ratios such as P/E, P/S and debt/equity should be analyzed before making a reasonable investment decision.
Price to Book (common Equity) below the X-Industry median: A lower P/B relative to the industry average implies that there is enough room for the stock to win.
Selling price below median X-Industry: The P/S ratio determines how much the market values every dollar of the company’s sales/revenue – a lower ratio than the industry makes the stock attractive.
Price/earnings ratio using F(1) estimate below industry median X: The P/E (F1) ratio values a company based on its current share price relative to its estimated earnings per share – a lower ratio than the industry is considered better.
PEG less than 1: The PEG relates the P/E ratio to the future growth rate of the company. The PEG ratio gives a more complete picture than the P/E ratio. A value below 1 indicates the stock is undervalued and investors should pay less for a stock that offers good earnings growth prospects.
Current price greater than or equal to $5: They must all trade at a minimum of $5 or more.
Average volume over 20 days greater than or equal to 100,000: Substantial trading volume ensures that the stock is easily tradable.
Zacks rating less than or equal to #2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform regardless of the market environment.
Value Score of A or B: Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks #1 or 2 ranking, offer the best opportunities in the investment space valuable.
Here are our five picks from the 16 stocks that qualified the selection:
celestial is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services companies, serving the computer and communications industries.
Celestica has a Zacks rank of No. 2 and a value score of A. Celestica has an expected 3-5 year EPS growth rate of 15.44%.
Vishay Intertechnology is a global manufacturer and supplier of semiconductors and passive components. Vishay Intertechnology is benefiting from strength in its resistor, diode, MOSFET, capacitor, inductor and opto product lines, as well as expanding manufacturing capabilities.
Vishay Intertechnology forecasts an EPS growth rate of 22.71% over 3 to 5 years. Vishay Intertechnology currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of A.
Group 1 Automotive is a leader in automobile distribution. Through its dealerships, the company sells new and used cars and light trucks. In addition to the sale of new and used vehicles, Group 1 Automotive offers vehicle financing, insurance and service contracts.
1 Automotive Group has an expected 3-5 year EPS growth rate of 14.19%. GPI currently has a Zacks rank #2 and a value score of A.
Hunter is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of differentiated and basic chemicals. HUN markets its products to a diverse group of industrial and consumer customers. Huntsman benefits from its investment in downstream businesses and differentiated product innovation.
HUN currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Value Score of A. You can see the full list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.
It has an expected 3-5 year EPS growth rate of 12.47%.
Bookmark Jewelers is a retailer of diamond jewelry, watches and other products.
Signet Jewelers forecasts an EPS growth rate of 8% over 3-5 years. Signet Jewelers currently has a Zacks rank #1 and a value score of A.
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