Is It Too Late To Consider Buying TransAlta Corporation (TSE:TA)?

TransAlta Corporation (TSE:TA), which is in the renewable energy business, and is based in Canada, received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the TSX over the last few months. With many analysts covering the stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. However, could the stock still be trading at a relatively cheap price? Let’s take a look at TransAlta’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.

See our latest analysis for TransAlta

What’s the opportunity in TransAlta?

According to my price multiple model, where I compare the company’s price-to-earnings ratio to the industry average, the stock currently looks expensive. I’ve used the price-to-earnings ratio in this instance because there’s not enough visibility to forecast its cash flows. The stock’s ratio of 38.59x is currently well-above the industry average of 28.57x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. But, is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Given that TransAlta’s share is fairly volatile (i.e. its price movements are magnified relative to the rest of the market) this could mean the price can sink lower, giving us another chance to buy in the future. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.

What kind of growth will TransAlta generate?

TSX:TA Past and Future Earnings March 26th 2020
TSX:TA Past and Future Earnings March 26th 2020

Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. Buying a great company with a robust outlook at a cheap price is always a good investment, so let’s also take a look at the company’s future expectations. With profit expected to grow by 43% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for TransAlta. It looks like higher cash flow is on the cards for the stock, which should feed into a higher share valuation.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has well and truly priced in TA’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. However, this brings up another question – is now the right time to sell? If you believe TA should trade below its current price, selling high and buying it back up again when its price falls towards the industry PE ratio can be profitable. But before you make this decision, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on TA for some time, now may not be the best time to enter into the stock. The price has surpassed its industry peers, which means it is likely that there is no more upside from mispricing. However, the optimistic prospect is encouraging for TA, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.

Price is just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper into what truly matters – the fundamentals – before you make a decision on TransAlta. You can find everything you need to know about TransAlta in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in TransAlta, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.