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Pick These 5 Low P/CF Stocks for a Value-Based Portfolio

Value investing is essentially about selecting stocks that are usually cheap but fundamentally sound. Hibbett (HIBB), Encompass Health (EHC), Berry Global (BERY), Vishay Intertechnology (VSH) and Affiliated Managers (AMG) boast...

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Value style is considered one of the best practices when it comes to picking stocks. Value investing is essentially about selecting stocks that are fundamentally sound but have been beaten down by some external factors, such as the pandemic. Such stocks are poised to bounce back as and when investors recognize the inherent value of companies. Certainly, value investment strategy suits best to investors having long-term horizon.



There are different valuation metrics to determine a stock’s inherent strength but a random selection of a ratio cannot serve your purpose if you want a realistic assessment of a company’s financial position. For this, we would suggest Price to Cash Flow (or P/CF) ratio as one of the key metrics.



This metric evaluates the market price of a stock relative to the amount of cash flow that the company is generating on a per-share basis – the lower the number, the better. One of the important factors that make P/CF a highly dependable metric is that operating cash flow adds back non-cash charges such as depreciation and amortization to net income, truly diagnosing the financial health of a company.



Analysts caution that a company’s earnings are subject to accounting estimates and management manipulation. However, cash flow is reliable. It is net cash flow that unveils how much money a company is actually generating and how effectively management is deploying the same.



Positive cash flow indicates an increase in a company’s liquid assets. It gives the company the means to settle debt, shell out for its expenses, reinvest in its business, endure downturns and finally pay back its shareholders. Negative cash flow implies a decline in the company’s liquidity, which in turn lowers its flexibility to support these moves.



However, an investment decision solely based on the P/CF metric may not fetch the desired results. To identify stocks that are trading at a discount, you should expand your search criteria and also consider price-to-book ratio, price-to-earnings ratio and price-to-sales ratio. Adding a favorable Zacks Rank and a Value Score of A or B to your search criteria should lead to even better results as these eliminate the chance of falling into a value trap.

- Zacks

The Bargain Hunting Strategy

Here are the parameters for selecting true value stocks:

P/CF less than or equal to X-Industry Median.

Price greater than or equal to 5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.



Average 20-Day Volume greater than 100,000: A substantial trading volume ensures that the stock is easily tradable.



P/E using (F1) less than or equal to X-Industry Median: This parameter shortlists stocks that are trading at a discount or are equal to its peers.



P/B less than or equal to X-Industry Median: A lower P/B compared with the industry average implies that there is enough room for the stock to gain.



P/S less than or equal to X-Industry Median: The P/S ratio determines how a stock price compares to the company’s sales — the lower the ratio the more attractive the stock is.



PEG less than 1: The ratio is used to determine a stock's value by taking the company's earnings growth into account. PEG ratio gives a more complete picture than P/E ratio. A value of less than 1 indicates that the stock is undervalued and that investors need to pay less for a stock that has robust earnings growth prospect.



Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform irrespective of the market environment.



Value Score of less than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a Style Score of A or B when combined with Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.



Here are five of the 19 stocks that qualified the screening:



Hibbett, Inc. HIBB, an athletic-inspired fashion retailer, has a Zacks Rank #1 and an expected EPS growth rate of 22.4% for three-five years. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 124.6%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.



Encompass Health Corporation EHC, which provides facility-based and home-based post-acute healthcare services in the United States, carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has an expected EPS growth rate of 18% for three-five years. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 14.8%, on average.



Berry Global Group, Inc. BERY, which creates innovative packaging and engineered products, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 17.7%, on average. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an expected EPS growth rate of 10% for three-five years.    



Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. VSH, which manufactures and supplies discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.2%, on average. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an expected EPS growth rate of 23.9% for three-five years.



Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. AMG, an asset management company providing investment management services to mutual funds, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals, carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has an expected EPS growth rate of 15% for three-five years. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.4%, on average.



Get the rest of the stocks on the list and start putting this and other ideas to the test. It can all be done with the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting software.



The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.



Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.



Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.



Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.



Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential

In the past few years, many popular platforms and like Uber and Airbnb finally made their way to the public markets. But the biggest paydays came from lesser-known names.

For example, electric carmaker X Peng shot up +299.4% in just 2 months. Think of it this way…

If you had put $5,000 into XPEV at its IPO in September 2020, you could have cashed out with $19,970 in November.

With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year’s lineup could be even more lucrative.

See Zacks Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>



Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

 

Hibbett, Inc. (HIBB): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (AMG): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (VSH): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

Berry Global Group, Inc. (BERY): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

Encompass Health Corporation (EHC): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

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