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Should Value Investors Buy Mercer International (MERC) Stock?

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Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.

Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

One company to watch right now is Mercer International (MERC). MERC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock is trading with P/E ratio of 4.86 right now. For comparison, its industry sports an average P/E of 5.84. Over the past 52 weeks, MERC's Forward P/E has been as high as 1,067.56 and as low as 4.76, with a median of 19.78.

Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. MERC has a P/S ratio of 0.51. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.62.

Finally, our model also underscores that MERC has a P/CF ratio of 6.35. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. MERC's current P/CF looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 13.56. Over the past year, MERC's P/CF has been as high as 13.79 and as low as 6.05, with a median of 8.77.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Mercer International is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, MERC feels like a great value stock at the moment.

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