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Are Investors Undervaluing Alaska Air Group (ALK) Right Now?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.

Alaska Air Group (ALK) is a stock many investors are watching right now. ALK is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and an A for Value. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 9.13. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 11.44. Over the past year, ALK's Forward P/E has been as high as 16.89 and as low as 7.32, with a median of 9.04.

Another valuation metric that we should highlight is ALK's P/B ratio of 1.67. 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. This stock's P/B looks attractive against its industry's average P/B of 4.69. Over the past year, ALK's P/B has been as high as 2.04 and as low as 1.29, with a median of 1.54.

Finally, our model also underscores that ALK has a P/CF ratio of 13.77. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. ALK's current P/CF looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 23.67. Within the past 12 months, ALK's P/CF has been as high as 14.09 and as low as 5.63, with a median of 8.92.

United Airlines (UAL) may be another strong Transportation - Airline stock to add to your shortlist. UAL is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value grade of A.

Additionally, United Airlines has a P/B ratio of 2.28 while its industry's price-to-book ratio sits at 4.69. For UAL, this valuation metric has been as high as 4.68, as low as 1.76, with a median of 2.96 over the past year.

These are only a few of the key metrics included in Alaska Air Group and United Airlines strong Value grade, but they help show that the stocks are likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, ALK and UAL look like an impressive value stock at the moment.

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