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Is Emerson Electric (EMR) a Good Pick for Value Investors?

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Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put Emerson Electric Co. EMR stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, Emerson Electric has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 17.05, as you can see in the chart below:

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 18.04. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Emerson Electric’s current PE level puts it below its midpoint (which is 21.97) over the past five years. Moreover, the current level stands well below the highs for the stock, suggesting that it can be a solid entry point.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the Zacks Industrial Products sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 16.64. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

We should also point out that Emerson Electric has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 15.88, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Emerson Electric stock in the near term too.

P/S Ratio

Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock’s price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.

Right now, Emerson Electric has a P/S ratio of about 2.5. This is a bit lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.52x right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

If anything, this suggests some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Emerson Electric currently has a Value Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Emerson Electric a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For example, the P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 13.92, which is far better than the industry average of 14.05. Clearly, EMR is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Emerson Electric might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth Score of D and a Momentum Score of C. This gives EMR a Zacks VGM score — or its overarching fundamental grade — of C. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been robust at best. The current quarter has seen two estimates go higher in the past sixty days compared to one lower, while the full year estimate has seen three up and one down in the same time period.

This has had just a noticeable impact on the consensus estimate though as the current quarter consensus estimate has risen by 1.6% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has inched higher by 0.4%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Emerson Electric Co. Price and Consensus

Emerson Electric Co. Price and Consensus
Emerson Electric Co. Price and Consensus

Emerson Electric Co. price-consensus-chart | Emerson Electric Co. Quote

Despite this positive trend, the stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which indicates expectations of in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Emerson Electric is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. However, with a sluggish industry rank (among Bottom 44% of more than 250 industries) and a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. In fact, over the past two years, the Zacks Manufacturing - Electronics industry has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

So, value investors might want to wait for analyst sentiment to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.


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