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5 Value Stocks With Exciting EV-to-EBITDA Ratios to Own Now

We have screened value stocks GMS, MATX, ASIX, VSTO and DXC based on EV-to-EBITDA ratio that offers a clearer picture of valuation and earnings potential.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is broadly considered by investors as the yardstick for evaluating the fair market value of a stock. It is preferred by many investors to handpick stocks trading at attractive prices. But even this universally used valuation multiple is not without its shortcomings.

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What Makes EV-to-EBITDA a Better Alternative?

Although P/E enjoys great popularity among value investors, a less-used and more-complicated metric called EV-to-EBITDA is sometimes viewed as a better alternative. EV-to-EBITDA gives the true picture of a company’s valuation and earnings potential. It has a more comprehensive approach to valuation.  



EV-to-EBITDA is the enterprise value (EV) of a stock divided by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). EV is the sum of a company’s market capitalization, its debt and preferred stock minus cash and cash equivalents. In essence, it is the entire value of a company.



The other component of the multiple, EBITDA, gives a better idea of a company’s profitability as it removes the impact of non-cash expenses like depreciation and amortization that reduce net earnings. It is also often used as a proxy for cash flows.



Usually, the lower the EV-to-EBITDA ratio, the more attractive it is. A low EV-to-EBITDA ratio could signal that a stock is potentially undervalued.



Unlike the P/E ratio, EV-to-EBITDA takes debt on a company’s balance sheet into account. Due to this reason, it is typically used to value potential acquisition targets. The ratio shows the amount of debt that the acquirer has to bear. Stocks flaunting a low EV-to-EBITDA multiple could be seen as attractive takeover candidates.



Moreover, P/E can’t be used to value a loss-making firm. A firm’s earnings are also subject to accounting estimates and management manipulation. In contrast, EV-to-EBITDA is harder to manipulate and can be used to value companies that have negative net earnings but are positive on the EBITDA front.



Moreover, EV-to-EBITDA is a useful tool in measuring the value of companies that are highly leveraged and have a high degree of depreciation. The ratio also allows the comparison of companies with different debt levels.



However, EV-to-EBITDA is also not without its shortcomings and alone cannot conclusively determine a stock’s inherent potential and future performance. The ratio varies across industries and is generally not appropriate while comparing stocks in different industries given their diverse capital spending requirements.



Therefore, instead of just relying on EV-to-EBITDA, you can club it with the other major ratios such as price-to-book (P/B), P/E, and price-to-sales (P/S) to achieve the desired results.

Screening Criteria

Here are the parameters to screen for value stocks:



EV-to-EBITDA 12 Months-Most Recent less than X-Industry Median: A lower EV-to-EBITDA ratio represents a cheaper valuation.



P/E using (F1) less than X-Industry Median: This metric screens stocks that are trading at a discount to their peers.



P/B less than X-Industry Median: A lower P/B compared with the industry average implies that the stock is undervalued.



P/S less than X-Industry Median: The lower the P/S ratio, the more attractive the stock is as investors will have to pay a smaller price for the same amount of sales generated by the company.



Estimated One-Year EPS Growth F(1)/F(0) greater than or equal to X-Industry Median: This parameter will help in screening stocks that have growth rates higher than the industry median. This is a meaningful indicator as decent earnings growth always adds to investor optimism.



Average 20-day Volume greater than or equal to 100,000: The addition of this metric ensures that shares can be traded easily.



Current Price greater than or equal to $5: This parameter will help in screening stocks that are trading at a minimum price of $5 or higher.



Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: No screening is complete without the Zacks Rank, which has proven its worth since inception. It is a fundamental truth that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) have always managed to beat adversities and outperform the market.



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



Here are five of the 20 stocks that passed the screen:



GMS Inc. GMS is a distributor of wallboard and suspended ceilings systems. This Zacks Rank #1 stock has expected year-over-year earnings growth of 59.6% for the current fiscal year and a Value Score of B.



Matson, Inc. MATX provides ocean transportation and logistics services. This Zacks Rank #1 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 243% for the current year and a Value Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.



AdvanSix Inc. ASIX is a manufacturer of nylon 6 resin, chemical intermediates and ammonium sulfate fertilizer. This Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 178.1% for the current year and a Value Score of B.



Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of outdoor recreation and shooting sports products. This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 66.4% for the current fiscal year and a Value Score of A.



DXC Technology Company DXC offers a broad array of professional services to clients in the global, commercial and government markets. This Zacks Rank #2 stock has an expected year-over-year earnings growth rate of 49% for the current fiscal year and a Value Score of A.



You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.



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.

 



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Matson, Inc. (MATX): Free Stock Analysis Report

 

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