ATCO Ltd. (TSE:ACO.X), is not the largest company out there, but it received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the TSX over the last few months. With many analysts covering the mid-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 ATCO’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
What is ATCO worth?
According to my price multiple model, which makes a comparison between the company's price-to-earnings ratio and the industry average, the stock price seems to be justfied. 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 21.11x is currently trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 20.91x, which means if you buy ATCO today, you’d be paying a relatively sensible price for it. And if you believe that ATCO should be trading at this level in the long run, then there should only be a fairly immaterial downside vs other industry peers. Furthermore, it seems like ATCO’s share price is quite stable, which means there may be less chances to buy low in the future now that it’s priced similarly to industry peers. This is because the stock is less volatile than the wider market given its low beta.
What does the future of ATCO 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. With profit expected to grow by 83% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for ATCO. 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? It seems like the market has already priced in ACO.X’s positive outlook, 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 ACO.X? Will you have enough conviction to buy should the price fluctuate below the industry PE ratio?
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on ACO.X, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for ACO.X, 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.
Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. When we did our research, we found 2 warning signs for ATCO (1 can't be ignored!) that we believe deserve your full attention.
If you are no longer interested in ATCO, 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. 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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