Let's talk about the popular Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The company's shares saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in the past couple of months on the NASDAQGS. With many analysts covering the large-cap stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. But what if there is still an opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Apple’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is Apple still cheap?
Apple is currently expensive based on my price multiple model, where I look at the company's price-to-earnings ratio in comparison to 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 43.2x is currently well-above the industry average of 21.26x, 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 Apple’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.
What kind of growth will Apple generate?
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. Apple's earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 27%, 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? AAPL’s optimistic future growth appears to have been factored into the current share price, with shares trading above industry price multiples. However, this brings up another question – is now the right time to sell? If you believe AAPL 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 AAPL 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 positive outlook is encouraging for AAPL, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.
With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Apple you should know about.
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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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