While ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) might not be the most widely known stock at the moment, it saw a double-digit share price rise of over 10% in the past couple of months on the ASX. As a mid-cap stock with high coverage by analysts, you could assume any recent changes in the company's outlook is already priced into the stock. But what if there is still an opportunity to buy? Let's take a look at ALS's outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
See our latest analysis for ALS
Is ALS Still Cheap?
The share price seems sensible at the moment according to my price multiple model, where I compare 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 ALS's ratio of 30.22x is trading in-line with its industry peers' ratio, which means if you buy ALS today, you'd be paying a relatively sensible price for it. So, is there another chance to buy low in the future? Given that ALS'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 an opportunity to buy later on. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.
Can we expect growth from ALS?
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. ALS' earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 76%, 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? ALQ's optimistic future growth appears to have been factored into the current share price, 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 ALQ? 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 ALQ, 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 ALQ, which means it's worth further examining other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, 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. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with ALS, and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
If you are no longer interested in ALS, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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