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Today we're going to take a look at the well-established Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A). The company's stock received a lot of attention from a substantial price increase on the NYSE over the last few months. 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 Agilent Technologies’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
What is Agilent Technologies worth?
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 51.59x is currently well-above the industry average of 45.91x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. Furthermore, Agilent Technologies’s share price also seems relatively stable compared to the rest of the market, as indicated by its low beta. If you believe the share price should eventually reach levels around its industry peers, a low beta could suggest it is unlikely to rapidly do so anytime soon, and once it’s there, it may be hard to fall back down into an attractive buying range.
What kind of growth will Agilent Technologies generate?
Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. 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. Agilent Technologies' earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 46%, 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? It seems like the market has well and truly priced in A’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. However, this brings up another question – is now the right time to sell? If you believe A 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 A 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 A, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors 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. For example - Agilent Technologies has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you are no longer interested in Agilent Technologies, 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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