While Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE:SB) might not be the most widely known stock at the moment, it received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the NYSE over the last few months. Less-covered, small caps tend to present more of an opportunity for mispricing due to the lack of information available to the public, which can be a good thing. So, could the stock still be trading at a low price relative to its actual value? Today I will analyse the most recent data on Safe Bulkers’s outlook and valuation to see if the opportunity still exists.
What's the opportunity in Safe Bulkers?
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 62.49x is currently well-above the industry average of 24.14x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. Another thing to keep in mind is that Safe Bulkers’s share price is quite stable relative to the rest of the market, as indicated by its low beta. This means that if you believe the current share price should move towards the levels of its industry peers over time, a low beta could suggest it is not likely to reach that level anytime soon, and once it’s there, it may be hard for it to fall back down into an attractive buying range again.
What does the future of Safe Bulkers 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. In Safe Bulkers' case, its revenues over the next few years are expected to grow by 33%, indicating a highly optimistic future ahead. If expense does not increase by the same rate, or higher, this top line growth should lead to stronger 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 SB’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 SB 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 SB 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 SB, 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. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Safe Bulkers (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored).
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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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