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Is Toll Brothers (TOL) a Great Stock for Value Investors?

Value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. After all, who wouldn’t want to find stocks that are either flying under the radar and are compelling buys, or offer up tantalizing discounts when compared to fair value?

One way to find these companies is by looking at several key metrics and financial ratios, many of which are crucial in the value stock selection process. Let’s put Toll Brothers, Inc. TOL stock into this equation and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks:

PE Ratio

A key metric that value investors always look at is the Price to Earnings Ratio, or PE for short. This shows us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of earnings in a given stock, and is easily one of the most popular financial ratios in the world. The best use of the PE ratio is to compare the stock’s current PE ratio with: a) where this ratio has been in the past; b) how it compares to the average for the industry/sector; and c) how it compares to the market as a whole.

On this front, Toll Brothers has a trailing twelve months PE ratio of 16.19, as you can see in the chart below:



This level actually compares pretty favorably with the market at large, as the PE for the S&P 500 stands at about 20.18. If we focus on the long-term PE trend, Toll Brothers’ current PE level puts it below its midpoint of 19.29 over the past five years.  Furthermore, the current level stands considerably lower than the highs for the stock, making it a superb entry point.
 


Further, the stock’s PE also compares favorably with the Zacks classified Construction sector’s trailing twelve months PE ratio, which stands at 19.69. At the very least, this indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued right now, compared to its peers.
 


We should also point out that Toll Brothers has a forward PE ratio (price relative to this year’s earnings) of just 12.60, so it is fair to say that a more value-oriented path may be ahead for Toll Brothers stock in the near term too.

P/S Ratio

Another key metric to note is the Price/Sales ratio. This approach compares a given stock’s price to its total sales, where a lower reading is generally considered better. Some people like this metric more than other value-focused ones because it looks at sales, something that is far harder to manipulate with accounting tricks than earnings.

Right now, Toll Brothers has a P/S ratio of about 1.25. This is much lower than the S&P 500 average, which comes in at 3.13 right now. Also, as we can see in the chart below, this is well below the highs for this stock in particular over the past few years.



Broad Value Outlook

In aggregate, Toll Brothers currently has a Zacks Value Style Score of ‘B’, putting it into the top 40% of all stocks we cover from this look. This makes Toll Brothers a solid choice for value investors, and some of its other key metrics make this pretty clear too.

For example, the PEG ratio for Toll Brothers is just 1.06, a level that is slightly lower than the industry average of 1.15. The PEG ratio is a modified PE ratio that takes into account the stock’s earnings growth rate. Additionally, its P/CF ratio (another great indicator of value) comes in at 8.71, which is a bit better than the industry average of 8.88. Clearly, TOL is a good choice on the value front from multiple angles.

What About the Stock Overall?

Though Toll Brothers might be a good choice for value investors, there are plenty of other factors to consider before investing in this name. In particular, it is worth noting that the company has a Growth grade of ‘B’ and a Momentum score of ‘F’. This gives TOL a Zacks VGM score—or its overarching fundamental grade—of ‘B’. (You can read more about the Zacks Style Scores here >>)

Meanwhile, the company’s recent earnings estimates have been quite discouraging. The current quarter has seen six estimates go lower in the past sixty days compared to no upward revision, while the full year estimate has seen five down and two up in the same time period.

This has had a negative impact on the consensus estimate, as the current quarter consensus estimate has tumbled 12.5% in the past two months, while the full year estimate has inched lower by 0.3%. You can see the consensus estimate trend and recent price action for the stock in the chart below:

Toll Brothers Inc. Price and Consensus
 

Toll Brothers Inc. Price and Consensus | Toll Brothers Inc. Quote

In light of these bearish trends, the stock has just a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), indicating why we are looking for in-line performance from the company in the near term.

Bottom Line

Nonetheless, Toll Brothers is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front. Despite having a Zacks Rank #3, the stock belongs to an industry which is ranked among the Top 14%, which indicates that broader factors are favorable for the company. Further, so far this year, the Zacks categorized Buildings – Residential/Commercial industry has clearly outperformed the broader market, as you can see below:



So, value investors might want to wait for estimates to turn around in this name first, but once that happens, this stock could be a compelling pick.

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