Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), might not be a large cap stock, but it led the NASDAQGS gainers with a relatively large price hike in the past couple of weeks. 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. But what if there is still an opportunity to buy? Let’s examine Canadian Solar’s valuation and outlook in more detail to determine if there’s still a bargain opportunity.
Is Canadian Solar still cheap?
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. 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 Canadian Solar’s ratio of 22.52x is trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 20.77x, which means if you buy Canadian Solar today, you’d be paying a relatively sensible price for it. And if you believe Canadian Solar should be trading in this range, then there isn’t really any room for the share price grow beyond the levels of other industry peers over the long-term. Is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Since Canadian Solar’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 does the future of Canadian Solar 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. Canadian Solar'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? CSIQ’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 CSIQ? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below the industry PE ratio?
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on CSIQ, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for CSIQ, 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.
So if you'd like to dive deeper into this stock, it's crucial to consider any risks it's facing. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Canadian Solar (1 is a bit unpleasant) you should be familiar with.
If you are no longer interested in Canadian Solar, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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.