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Does Air France-KLM SA (AFLYY) Stock Make a Good Value Pick?

Zacks

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 Air France-KLM SA AFLYY 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, Air France-KLM has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 8.48, as you can see in the chart below:

This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 compares in at about 19.68. If we focus on the stock’s long-term PE trend, the current level puts Air France-KLM’s current PE ratio above its midpoint over the past five years, with the number having risen rapidly over the past few months.

Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the Zacks classified Transportation-Airlines industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 12.18. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

We should also point out that Air France-KLM has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 5.68, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for Air France-KLM 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, Air France-KLM has a P/S ratio of about 0.11. This is lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.05 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, suggesting some level of undervalued trading—at least compared to historical norms.

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Air France-KLM currently has a Zacks Value Style Score of ‘A’, putting it into the top 20% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Air France-KLM 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 1.55, which is far better than the industry average of 4.80. Clearly, AFLYY is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Air France-KLM 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 grade of ‘D’ and a Momentum score of ‘C’. This gives AFLYY a Zacks VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of ‘B’. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been pretty encouraging. The current year has seen one estimate going higher in the past thirty days compared to none lower, while the next year estimate has also seen one upward and no downward movement in the same time period.

This has had a significant impact on the consensus estimate as the current year consensus estimate has risen by 19.6 in the past one month and the next year estimate has increased by 52%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

This somewhat favorable trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and why we are looking for better performance from the company in the near term

Bottom Line

Air France-KLM is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover, a strong industry rank (Top 26% out of more than 250 industries) further strengthens its growth potential. In fact, over the past three years, the Zacks Transportation-Airlines industry has clearly underperformed the broader market, as you can see below:

So, it might pay for value investors to delve deeper into the company’s prospects, as fundamentals indicate that this stock could be a compelling pick.

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