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Today we're going to take a look at the well-established Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH). The company's stock received a lot of attention from a substantial price movement on the NYSE over the last few months, increasing to US$278 at one point, and dropping to the lows of US$214. Some share price movements can give investors a better opportunity to enter into the stock, and potentially buy at a lower price. A question to answer is whether Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings' current trading price of US$226 reflective of the actual value of the large-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.
What's the opportunity in Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings?
Good news, investors! Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is still a bargain right now according to my price multiple model, which compares 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 Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings’s ratio of 9.99x is below its peer average of 17.86x, which indicates the stock is trading at a lower price compared to the Healthcare industry. However, given that Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings’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 another chance to buy in the future. This is based on its high beta, which is a good indicator for share price volatility.
Can we expect growth from Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings?
Investors looking for growth in their portfolio may want to consider the prospects of a company before buying its shares. 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. Though in the case of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, it is expected to deliver a highly negative earnings growth in the next few years, which doesn’t help build up its investment thesis. It appears that risk of future uncertainty is high, at least in the near term.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Although LH is currently trading below the industry PE ratio, the adverse prospect of negative growth brings about some degree of risk. I recommend you think about whether you want to increase your portfolio exposure to LH, or whether diversifying into another stock may be a better move for your total risk and return.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on LH for a while, but hesitant on making the leap, I recommend you dig deeper into the stock. Given its current price multiple, now is a great time to make a decision. But keep in mind the risks that come with negative growth prospects in the future.
In light of this, if you'd like to do more analysis on the company, it's vital to be informed of the risks involved. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings you should know about.
If you are no longer interested in Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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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.