Is Now The Time To Look At Buying China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS)?

China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS), which is in the auto components business, and is based in China, led the NASDAQCM gainers with a relatively large price hike in the past couple of weeks. As a small cap stock, hardly covered by any analysts, there is generally more of an opportunity for mispricing as there is less activity to push the stock closer to fair value. Is there still an opportunity here to buy? Let’s take a look at China Automotive Systems’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.

See our latest analysis for China Automotive Systems

What is China Automotive Systems worth?

According to my relative valuation model, the stock seems to be currently fairly priced. 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 20.16x is currently trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 18.37x, which means if you buy China Automotive Systems today, you’d be paying a relatively reasonable price for it. And if you believe China Automotive Systems should be trading in this range, then there isn’t really any room for the share price grow beyond what it’s currently trading. Is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Since China Automotive Systems’s share price is quite volatile, we could potentially see it sink lower (or rise higher) in the future, giving us another chance to buy. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for how much the stock moves relative to the rest of the market.

Can we expect growth from China Automotive Systems?

NasdaqCM:CAAS Past and Future Earnings, January 17th 2020
NasdaqCM:CAAS Past and Future Earnings, January 17th 2020

Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. Although value investors would argue that it’s the intrinsic value relative to the price that matter the most, a more compelling investment thesis would be high growth potential at a cheap price. With profit expected to grow by 86% over the next year, the near-term future seems bright for China Automotive Systems. 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 already priced in CAAS’s positive outlook, with shares trading around its fair value. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the track record of its management team. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at CAAS? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below its fair value?

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on CAAS, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for CAAS, which means it’s worth further examining other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, 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 China Automotive Systems. You can find everything you need to know about China Automotive Systems in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in China Automotive Systems, 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.

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