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Is East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) Potentially Undervalued?

Simply Wall St

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East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC), operating in the financial services industry based in United States, saw a double-digit share price rise of over 10% in the past couple of months on the NASDAQGS. 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 East West Bancorp’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.

Check out our latest analysis for East West Bancorp

Is East West Bancorp still cheap?

The stock seems fairly valued at the moment according to my relative valuation model. 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 East West Bancorp’s ratio of 9.87x is trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 12.87x, which means if you buy East West Bancorp today, you’d be paying a fair price for it. And if you believe that East West Bancorp should be trading at this level in the long run, then there’s not much of an upside to gain from mispricing. Is there another opportunity to buy low in the future? Since East West Bancorp’s share price is quite volatile, we could potentially see it sink lower (or rise higher) in the future, giving us another chance to buy. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for how much the stock moves relative to the rest of the market.

Can we expect growth from East West Bancorp?

NasdaqGS:EWBC Past and Future Earnings, April 1st 2019

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. East West Bancorp’s earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 27%, 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 already priced in EWBC’s positive outlook, with shares trading around its fair value. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the financial strength of the company. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at EWBC? Will you have enough conviction to buy should the price fluctuate below the true value?

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on EWBC, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the positive outlook is encouraging for EWBC, 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.

Price is just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper into what truly matters – the fundamentals – before you make a decision on East West Bancorp. You can find everything you need to know about East West Bancorp in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in East West Bancorp, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.