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Are Investors Undervaluing Marathon Petroleum (MPC) Right Now?

The proven Zacks Rank system focuses on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find winning stocks. Nevertheless, we know that our readers all have their own perspectives, so we are always looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong picks.

Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

One stock to keep an eye on is Marathon Petroleum (MPC). MPC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value.

We also note that MPC holds a PEG ratio of 0.31. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. MPC's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 0.48. Over the last 12 months, MPC's PEG has been as high as 1.53 and as low as 0.25, with a median of 0.56.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is MPC's P/B ratio of 1.79. 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. MPC's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 2.11. Within the past 52 weeks, MPC's P/B has been as high as 2.03 and as low as 1.07, with a median of 1.50.

Finally, investors should note that MPC has a P/CF ratio of 4.06. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 5.30. Over the past year, MPC's P/CF has been as high as 4.93 and as low as 2.96, with a median of 3.66.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Marathon Petroleum is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, MPC feels like a great value stock at the moment.

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