5 Value Stocks With Attractive EV-to-EBITDA Ratios To Own Now

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Investors generally have a fixation on the price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple while seeking stocks that are trading at attractive prices. A widely favored approach by value investors is to chase stocks that have a low P/E ratio. But even this widely popular valuation metric is not without its pitfalls.

Why is EV-to-EBITDA a Better Alternative?

While P/E enjoys great popularity among value investors, a less-used and more-complicated metric called EV-to-EBITDA is sometimes viewed as a better alternative. EV-to-EBITDA gives the true picture of a company’s valuation and earning potential. It has a more comprehensive approach to valuation.  

EV-to-EBITDA is the enterprise value (EV) of a stock divided by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). EV is the sum of a company’s market capitalization, debt, and preferred stock minus cash and cash equivalents.

EBITDA, the other component of the multiple, gives a clearer picture of a company’s profitability as it removes the impact of non-cash expenses like depreciation and amortization that depress net earnings. It is also often used as a proxy for cash flows.

Usually, the lower the EV-to-EBITDA ratio, the more attractive it is. A low EV-to-EBITDA ratio could signal that a stock is potentially undervalued.

EV-to-EBITDA takes into account the debt on a company’s balance sheet that P/E ratio does not. Given this reason, EV-to-EBITDA is usually used to value possible acquisition targets. Stocks with a low EV-to-EBITDA multiple could be seen as potential takeover candidates.

Moreover, P/E can’t be used to value a loss-making firm. A firm’s earnings are also subject to accounting estimates and management manipulation. On the other hand, EV-to-EBITDA is difficult to manipulate and can also be used to value companies that are making loss but are EBITDA-positive.

EV-to-EBITDA is also a useful tool in assessing the value of firms that are highly leveraged and have a high degree of depreciation. It can also be used to compare companies with different levels of debt.

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