At UK£39.79, Is Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) A Buy?

Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB), a hospitality company based in United Kingdom, maintained its current share price over the past couple of month on the LSE, with a relatively tight range of £38.83 to £42.56. However, does this price actually reflect the true value of the mid-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Whitbread’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 Whitbread

What’s the opportunity in Whitbread?

The stock seems fairly valued at the moment according to my relative valuation model. I’ve used the price-to-equity ratio in this instance because there’s not enough visibility to forecast its cash flows. The stock’s ratio of 16.6x is currently trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 18.43x, which means if you buy Whitbread today, you’d be paying a reasonable price for it. And if you believe Whitbread should be trading in this range, then there isn’t much room for the share price grow beyond where it’s currently trading. So, is there another chance to buy low in the future? Given that Whitbread’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 an opportunity to buy later on. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.

Can we expect growth from Whitbread?

LSE:WTB Future Profit August 19th 18
LSE:WTB Future Profit August 19th 18
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 26.95% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for Whitbread. 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 WTB’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 financial strength of the company. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at WTB? Will you have enough conviction to buy should the price fluctuate below the true value?

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on WTB, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for WTB, 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 Whitbread. You can find everything you need to know about Whitbread in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in Whitbread, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.