Capita plc (LON:CPI), might not be a large cap stock, but it received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the LSE over the last few months. With many analysts covering the stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. However, what if the stock is still a bargain? Today I will analyse the most recent data on Capita’s outlook and valuation to see if the opportunity still exists.
What's the opportunity in Capita?
Great news for investors – Capita is still trading at a fairly cheap price according to my price multiple model, where I compare the company's price-to-earnings ratio to the industry average. 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 Capita’s ratio of 2.21x is below its peer average of 29.5x, which indicates the stock is trading at a lower price compared to the IT industry. Although, there may be another chance to buy again in the future. This is because Capita’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 Capita look like?
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. Though in the case of Capita, it is expected to deliver a highly negative earnings growth in the next few years, which doesn’t help build up its investment thesis. It appears that risk of future uncertainty is high, at least in the near term.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Although CPI is currently trading below the industry PE ratio, the negative profit outlook does bring on some uncertainty, which equates to higher risk. I recommend you think about whether you want to increase your portfolio exposure to CPI, or whether diversifying into another stock may be a better move for your total risk and return.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on CPI for some time, but hesitant on making the leap, I recommend you dig deeper into the stock. Given its current price multiple, now is a great time to make a decision. But keep in mind the risks that come with negative growth prospects in the future.
If you'd like to know more about Capita as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. Be aware that Capita is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis and 3 of those are a bit unpleasant...
If you are no longer interested in Capita, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.