Let’s talk about the popular Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT). The company’s shares saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in the past couple of months on the NYSE. With many analysts covering the large-cap 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 Waters’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is Waters still cheap?
Good news, investors! Waters is still a bargain right now according to my price multiple model, which compares the company’s price-to-earnings ratio to the industry average. 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 26.64x is currently well-below the industry average of 41.8x, meaning that it is trading at a cheaper price relative to its peers. Another thing to keep in mind is that Waters’s share price is quite stable relative to the rest of the market, as indicated by its low beta. This means that if you believe the current share price should move towards its industry peers, a low beta could suggest it is not likely to reach that level anytime soon, and once it’s there, it may be hard to fall back down into an attractive buying range again.
What kind of growth will Waters generate?
Future outlook is an important aspect when you’re looking at buying a stock, especially if you are an investor looking for growth in your portfolio. 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 a double-digit 13% over the next couple of years, the outlook is positive for Waters. 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? Since WAT is currently trading below the industry PE ratio, it may be a great time to increase your holdings in the stock. With an optimistic profit outlook on the horizon, it seems like this growth has not yet been fully factored into the share price. However, there are also other factors such as financial health to consider, which could explain the current price multiple.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on WAT for a while, now might be the time to make a leap. Its buoyant future profit outlook isn’t fully reflected in the current share price yet, which means it’s not too late to buy WAT. But before you make any investment decisions, consider other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, in order to make a well-informed investment decision.
With this in mind, we wouldn’t consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. In terms of investment risks, we’ve identified 1 warning sign with Waters, and understanding it should be part of your investment process.
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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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