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PFG vs. EV: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

Zacks Equity Research

Investors with an interest in Financial - Investment Management stocks have likely encountered both Principal Financial (PFG) and Eaton Vance (EV). 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.

Right now, Principal Financial is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Eaton Vance has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This means that PFG'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 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.

The Style Score Value grade factors in a variety of key fundamental metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a number of other key stats that are commonly used by value investors.

PFG currently has a forward P/E ratio of 5.14, while EV has a forward P/E of 8.01. We also note that PFG has a PEG ratio of 0.62. 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. EV currently has a PEG ratio of 1.19.

Another notable valuation metric for PFG is its P/B ratio of 0.59. 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, EV has a P/B of 2.65.

These are just a few of the metrics contributing to PFG's Value grade of A and EV's Value grade of C.

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

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Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Eaton Vance Corporation (EV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Zacks Investment Research