AltaGas Ltd. (TSE:ALA), is not the largest company out there, but it saw a double-digit share price rise of over 10% in the past couple of months on the TSX. With many analysts covering the mid-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 AltaGas’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
What is AltaGas worth?
The share price seems sensible at the moment according to my price multiple model, where I compare 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 15.9x is currently trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 17.23x, which means if you buy AltaGas today, you’d be paying a decent price for it. And if you believe AltaGas should be trading in this range, then there isn’t much room for the share price to grow beyond the levels of other industry peers over the long-term. Is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Since AltaGas’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.
What kind of growth will AltaGas 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. 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. AltaGas' earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 37%, indicating a highly optimistic future ahead. This should lead to more robust cash flows, feeding into a higher share value.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? ALA’s optimistic future growth appears to have been factored into the current share price, with shares trading around industry price multiples. 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 ALA? Will you have enough conviction to buy should the price fluctuate below the industry PE ratio?
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on ALA, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for ALA, 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.
With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. For example, AltaGas has 4 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
If you are no longer interested in AltaGas, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
If you’re looking to trade AltaGas, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.