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STRL vs. ACM: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

Investors interested in Engineering - R and D Services stocks are likely familiar with Sterling Infrastructure (STRL) and Aecom Technology (ACM). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.

The best way to find great value stocks is to pair a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system. The proven Zacks Rank emphasizes companies with positive estimate revision trends, and our Style Scores highlight stocks with specific traits.

Currently, Sterling Infrastructure has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Aecom Technology has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that STRL is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is only part of the picture 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 Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.

STRL currently has a forward P/E ratio of 13.39, while ACM has a forward P/E of 20.85. We also note that STRL has a PEG ratio of 0.74. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. ACM currently has a PEG ratio of 1.89.

Another notable valuation metric for STRL is its P/B ratio of 2.91. The P/B ratio pits a stock's market value against its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, ACM has a P/B of 3.91.

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

STRL stands above ACM thanks to its solid earnings outlook, and based on these valuation figures, we also feel that STRL is the superior value option right now.

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