Why KAR Auction Services, Inc. (NYSE:KAR) Could Be Worth Watching

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 06, 2021
NYSE:KAR
Source: Shutterstock

KAR Auction Services, Inc. (NYSE:KAR), might not be a large cap stock, but it saw a decent share price growth in the teens level on the NYSE over the last few months. As a mid-cap stock with high coverage by analysts, you could assume any recent changes in the company’s outlook is already priced into the stock. However, what if the stock is still a bargain? Let’s examine KAR Auction Services’s valuation and outlook in more detail to determine if there’s still a bargain opportunity.

View our latest analysis for KAR Auction Services

What's the opportunity in KAR Auction Services?

KAR Auction Services appears to be expensive according to my price multiple model, which makes a comparison between the company's price-to-earnings ratio and 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 50.95x is currently well-above the industry average of 33.49x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. If you like the stock, you may want to keep an eye out for a potential price decline in the future. Since KAR Auction Services’s share price is quite volatile, this could mean it can sink lower (or rise even further) in the future, giving us another chance to invest. 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.

Can we expect growth from KAR Auction Services?

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:KAR Earnings and Revenue Growth September 6th 2021

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. KAR Auction Services' earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 72%, 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? It seems like the market has well and truly priced in KAR’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. However, this brings up another question – is now the right time to sell? If you believe KAR should trade below its current price, selling high and buying it back up again when its price falls towards the industry PE ratio can be profitable. But before you make this decision, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on KAR for some time, now may not be the best time to enter into the stock. The price has surpassed its industry peers, which means it is likely that there is no more upside from mispricing. However, the optimistic prospect is encouraging for KAR, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.

If you'd like to know more about KAR Auction Services as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with KAR Auction Services, and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

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