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GEF or ATR: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

Investors looking for stocks in the Containers - Paper and Packaging sector might want to consider either Greif (GEF) or AptarGroup (ATR). But which of these two stocks presents investors with the better value opportunity right now? Let's take a closer look.

There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.

Greif and AptarGroup are sporting Zacks Ranks of #2 (Buy) and #3 (Hold), respectively, right now. This means that GEF's earnings estimate revision activity has been more impressive, so investors should feel comfortable with its improving analyst outlook. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.

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.

The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

GEF currently has a forward P/E ratio of 7.68, while ATR has a forward P/E of 25.51. We also note that GEF has a PEG ratio of 0.77. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. ATR currently has a PEG ratio of 3.64.

Another notable valuation metric for GEF is its P/B ratio of 1.69. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. By comparison, ATR has a P/B of 3.29.

These metrics, and several others, help GEF earn a Value grade of A, while ATR has been given a Value grade of C.

GEF sticks out from ATR in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that GEF is the better option right now.

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