Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) saw a double-digit share price rise of over 10% in the past couple of months on the NASDAQGS. As a large-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 take a look at Paychex’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is Paychex still cheap?
According to my price multiple model, where I compare the company's price-to-earnings ratio to the industry average, the stock currently looks expensive. 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 37.48x is currently well-above the industry average of 31.72x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. Furthermore, Paychex’s share price also seems relatively stable compared to the rest of the market, as indicated by its low beta. If you believe the share price should eventually reach levels around its industry peers, a low beta could suggest it is unlikely to rapidly do so anytime soon, and once it’s there, it may be hard to fall back down into an attractive buying range.
Can we expect growth from Paychex?
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. 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. Paychex's earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 26%, 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 PAYX’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. At this current price, shareholders may be asking a different question – should I sell? If you believe PAYX 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 an eye on PAYX for a while, 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 positive outlook is encouraging for PAYX, 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 Paychex as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. While conducting our analysis, we found that Paychex has 1 warning sign and it would be unwise to ignore it.
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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.
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