Let's talk about the popular ICON Public Limited Company (NASDAQ:ICLR). The company's shares received a lot of attention from a substantial price movement on the NASDAQGS over the last few months, increasing to US$232 at one point, and dropping to the lows of US$204. 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 ICON's current trading price of US$218 reflective of the actual value of the large-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at ICON’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.
What is ICON worth?
Great news for investors – ICON 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 ICON’s ratio of 32.04x is below its peer average of 46.68x, which indicates the stock is trading at a lower price compared to the Life Sciences industry. What’s more interesting is that, ICON’s share price is quite stable, which could mean two things: firstly, it may take the share price a while to move closer to its industry peers, and secondly, there may be less chances to buy low in the future once it reaches that value. This is because the stock is less volatile than the wider market given its low beta.
What does the future of ICON 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. ICON's earnings over the next few years are expected to double, indicating a very optimistic future ahead. This should lead to stronger cash flows, feeding into a higher share value.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Since ICLR is currently below the industry PE ratio, it may be a great time to accumulate more of your holdings in the stock. With an optimistic outlook on the horizon, it seems like this growth has not yet been fully factored into the share price. However, there are also other factors such as capital structure to consider, which could explain the current price multiple.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on ICLR for a while, now might be the time to enter the stock. Its prosperous future profit outlook isn’t fully reflected in the current share price yet, which means it’s not too late to buy ICLR. But before you make any investment decisions, consider other factors such as the track record of its management team, in order to make a well-informed investment decision.
Since timing is quite important when it comes to individual stock picking, it's worth taking a look at what those latest analysts forecasts are. Luckily, you can check out what analysts are forecasting by clicking here.
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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.
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