Time New York: Sat 18 Nov 01:36 am  |  Save 15% on H&R Block Online

  
caticonslite_bm_alt

Should Value Investors Consider CA, Inc. (CA) Stock Now?

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 CA, Inc. CA 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, CA, Inc. has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 14.8, 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 20.7. If we focus on the stock’s long-term PE trend, the current level puts CA, Inc.’s current PE ratio slightly above its midpoint (which is 12.2) over the past five years.


Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the industry’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 29.1. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.

We should also point out that CA, Inc. has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 13.2, so it is fair to say that a slightly more value-oriented path may be ahead for CA, Inc.’s 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, CA, Inc. has a P/S ratio of about 3.3. This is marginally lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.4 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is slightly below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.

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

Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, CA, Inc. currently has a Value Style Score of B, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes CA 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 10.6, which is way better than the industry average of 23.2. Clearly, CA is a solid choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though CA, Inc. 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 F and a Momentum score of C. This gives CA a VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of D. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been mixed at best. The current quarter has seen five estimates go lower in the past thirty days, compared to none higher, while the full year estimate has seen two upward and one downward revisions in the same time period.

This has had a noticeable impact on the consensus estimate, as the current quarter consensus estimate has fallen about 3.2% in the past one month, while the full year estimate has inched up 0.4%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

CA Inc. Price and Consensus

CA Inc. Price and Consensus | CA Inc. Quote

This somewhat mixed trend is why the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

CA, Inc. is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Moreover, a decent industry rank (top 33% out of more than 250 industries) further supports the growth potential of the stock. However, with a Zacks Rank #3, it is hard to get too excited about this company overall. Nonetheless, over the past one year, the sector has clearly outperformed the broader market, as you can see below:

So, value investors might want to wait for estimates and analyst sentiment to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick. Moreover, broader factors at the industry level support the growth potential of the company as well.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research
<-- You can share this post with your network,
or give us your opinion and leave a comment.
Be sure to check our RSS feeds for updates.