5 Value Stocks With Enticing EV/EBITDA Ratios To Own Now

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 straightforward, broadly used valuation metric suffers a few downsides.

EV/EBITDA is a Better Approach, Here’s Why

Although P/E enjoys great popularity among value investors, a more-complicated metric called EV/EBITDA is sometimes viewed as a better alternative. EV/EBITDA, also referred to as the enterprise multiple, gives the true picture of a company’s valuation and earning potential. Additionally, it has a more comprehensive approach to valuation.  

EV/EBITDA is essentially 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, its debt and preferred stock minus cash and cash equivalents. In a nutshell, it is the total value of a company.

The other element of the multiple, EBITDA, 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/EBITDA ratio, the more attractive it is. A low EV/EBITDA ratio could signal that a stock is potentially undervalued.   

EV/EBITDA takes into account the debt on a company’s balance sheet that P/E ratio does not. Given this reason, EV/EBITDA is usually used to value possible acquisition targets. Stocks with a low EV/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/EBITDA is difficult to manipulate and can also be used to value companies that are making loss but are EBITDA-positive.

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