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UN vs. CL: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?


Investors looking for stocks in the Soap and Cleaning Materials sector might want to consider either Unilever NV (UN) or Colgate-Palmolive (CL). But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We’ll need to take a closer look.

We have found that the best way to discover great value opportunities is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with a great grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The Zacks Rank is a proven strategy that targets companies with positive earnings estimate revision trends, while our Style Scores work to grade companies based on specific traits.

Currently, Unilever NV has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Colgate-Palmolive has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that UN has an improving earnings outlook. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.

Value investors also tend to look at a number of traditional, tried-and-true figures to help them find stocks that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

Our Value category highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.

UN currently has a forward P/E ratio of 19.57, while CL has a forward P/E of 23.50. We also note that UN has a PEG ratio of 3.19. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company’s expected earnings growth rate. CL currently has a PEG ratio of 4.30.

Another notable valuation metric for UN is its P/B ratio of 6.54. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock’s market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, CL has a P/B of 292.86.

Based on these metrics and many more, UN holds a Value grade of B, while CL has a Value grade of D.

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

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