Is Now The Time To Look At Buying ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ)?

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ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ), which is in the professional services business, and is based in Australia, received a lot of attention from a substantial price movement on the ASX over the last few months, increasing to A$8.26 at one point, and dropping to the lows of A$6.59. Some share price movements can give investors a better opportunity to enter into the stock, and potentially buy at a lower price. A question to answer is whether ALS’s current trading price of A$7.06 reflective of the actual value of the mid-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at ALS’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.

Check out our latest analysis for ALS

What’s the opportunity in ALS?

The stock seems fairly valued at the moment according to my relative valuation model. In this instance, I’ve used the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio given that there is not enough information to reliably forecast the stock’s cash flows. I find that ALS’s ratio of 20.61x is trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 18.36x, which means if you buy ALS today, you’d be paying a relatively reasonable price for it. And if you believe that ALS should be trading at this level in the long run, there’s only an insignificant downside when the price falls to its real value. Although, there may be an opportunity to buy in the future. This is because ALS’s beta (a measure of share price volatility) is high, meaning its price movements will be exaggerated relative to the rest of the market. If the market is bearish, the company’s shares will likely fall by more than the rest of the market, providing a prime buying opportunity.

What does the future of ALS look like?

ASX:ALQ Past and Future Earnings, June 19th 2019
ASX:ALQ Past and Future Earnings, June 19th 2019

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 33% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for ALS. 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? ALQ’s optimistic future growth appears to have been factored into the current share price, with shares trading around its fair value. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the financial strength of the company. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at ALQ? 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 ALQ, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for ALQ, which means it’s worth diving deeper into 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 ALS. You can find everything you need to know about ALS in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in ALS, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.