Are Rolls-Royce Holding plc, J Sainsbury plc and WM Morrison Supermarkets plc value plays or value traps?

With shares in Morrisons (LSE: MRW) trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.6, they appear to offer excellent value for money. That’s not to say Morrisons is without risk. The UK supermarket sector continues to offer a highly uncertain outlook, with the likes of Aldi and Lidl grabbing market share from their larger rivals. However, Morrisons seems to have a sound strategy through which to grow its earnings and post a rising share price.

For example, it’s focusing on core activities and is seeking to leverage its status as a major food producer. The latter has involved doing a deal with Amazon to provide food for its grocery delivery offering, while the former has meant a pullback from the convenience store segment which proved relatively unpopular for Morrisons.

Although Morrisons is by no means the finished article and is arguably riskier than many of its index peers, it seems to offer a sufficiently wide margin of safety to merit investment.

Strategy shift

Similarly, Sainsbury’s (LSE: SBRY) faces an uncertain external environment. However, like Morrisons it seems to have adopted a strategy which should return its bottom line to growth over the medium term.

For starters, it’s moving away from its price match campaign. While helpful in shoring up sales during a severe downturn for the UK economy, with wages growing faster than inflation Sainsbury’s could be set to benefit from an economic tailwind over the coming years. As such, its decision to instead offer a simplified pricing structure should prove popular with customers and allow Sainsbury’s to differentiate on quality and convenience rather than solely on price.

Furthermore, Sainsbury’s is also attempting to purchase Home Retail Group. The deal could provide Sainsbury’s with major cross-selling opportunities as well as a considerable amount of synergies. Therefore, Sainsbury’s seems to be a worthy purchase at the moment – especially while it has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of only 12.5.

New team

Meanwhile, shares in Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR) have tumbled by 38% in the last year after it released a profit warning. In fact, the industrial major is expected to report a fall in its bottom line of 58% in the current year following last year’s 10% decline in earnings. This clearly has the potential to cause investor sentiment to come under pressure in the coming months, meaning that Rolls-Royce’s share price could come under greater pressure.

However, with Rolls-Royce having a new management team and a new strategy, it’s expected to record a rise in earnings of 36% next year. This puts it on a PEG ratio of only 0.5 and with there being the potential for a bid from a larger defence sector peer, Rolls-Royce could be a sound long-term buy that delivers stunning share price gains.

Despite this, there's another stock that could be an even better buy. In fact it's been named as A Top Growth Share From The Motley Fool.

The company in question could make a real impact on your bottom line in 2016 and beyond. And in time, it could help you retire early, pay off your mortgage, or simply enjoy a more abundant lifestyle.

Click here to find out all about it - doing so is completely free and comes without any obligation.

Peter Stephens owns shares of Morrisons and Sainsbury (J). The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.