Marten Transport, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN), might not be a large cap stock, but it saw a decent share price growth in the teens level on the NASDAQGS over the last few months. As a small cap stock, hardly covered by any analysts, there is generally more of an opportunity for mispricing as there is less activity to push the stock closer to fair value. Is there still an opportunity here to buy? Let’s take a look at Marten Transport’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is Marten Transport still cheap?
Good news, investors! Marten Transport is still a bargain right now according to my price multiple model, which compares 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 Marten Transport’s ratio of 20.9x is below its peer average of 31.08x, which indicates the stock is trading at a lower price compared to the Transportation industry. However, given that Marten Transport’s share is fairly volatile (i.e. its price movements are magnified relative to the rest of the market) this could mean the price can sink lower, giving us another chance to buy in the future. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.
What does the future of Marten Transport look like?
Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. 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. With profit expected to grow by 36% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for Marten Transport. It looks like higher cash flow is on the cards for the stock, which should feed into a higher share valuation.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Since MRTN is currently trading below the industry PE ratio, it may be a great time to increase your holdings in the stock. With a positive profit 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 MRTN 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 MRTN. But before you make any investment decisions, consider other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, 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. At Simply Wall St, we have the analysts estimates which you can view 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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