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LH vs. WST: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

LH vs. WST: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Investors looking for stocks in the Medical - Dental Supplies sector might want to consider either LabCorp (LH) or West Pharmaceutical Services (WST). But which of these two companies is the best option for those looking for undervalued stocks? Let's take a closer look.

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Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Currently, LabCorp has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while West Pharmaceutical Services has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that LH is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

Our Value category grades stocks based on a number of key metrics, including the tried-and-true P/E ratio, the P/S ratio, earnings yield, and cash flow per share, as well as a variety of other fundamentals that value investors frequently use.

LH currently has a forward P/E ratio of 11.03, while WST has a forward P/E of 54.16. We also note that LH has a PEG ratio of 1.04. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. WST currently has a PEG ratio of 1.96.

Another notable valuation metric for LH is its P/B ratio of 2.77. 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. By comparison, WST has a P/B of 15.47.

These metrics, and several others, help LH earn a Value grade of B, while WST has been given a Value grade of D.

LH has seen stronger estimate revision activity and sports more attractive valuation metrics than WST, so it seems like value investors will conclude that LH is the superior option right now.

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Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH): Free Stock Analysis Report


West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST): Free Stock Analysis Report


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