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Is Now The Time To Look At Buying Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA)?

Simply Wall St

Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA), which is in the commercial services business, and is based in United States, received a lot of attention from a substantial price movement on the NYSE over the last few months, increasing to US$17.84 at one point, and dropping to the lows of US$14.08. 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 Covanta Holding's current trading price of US$14.73 reflective of the actual value of the small-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Covanta Holding’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.

See our latest analysis for Covanta Holding

What is Covanta Holding worth?

The stock seems fairly valued at the moment according to my valuation model. It’s trading around 3.2% below my intrinsic value, which means if you buy Covanta Holding today, you’d be paying a fair price for it. And if you believe that the stock is really worth $15.22, then there isn’t much room for the share price grow beyond what it’s currently trading. Although, there may be an opportunity to buy in the future. This is because Covanta Holding’s beta (a measure of share price volatility) is high, meaning its price movements will be exaggerated relative to the rest of the market. If the market is bearish, the company’s shares will likely fall by more than the rest of the market, providing a prime buying opportunity.

What kind of growth will Covanta Holding generate?

NYSE:CVA Past and Future Earnings, November 15th 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. However, with an extremely negative double-digit change in profit expected over the next couple of years, near-term growth is certainly not a driver of a buy decision. It seems like high uncertainty is on the cards for Covanta Holding, at least in the near future.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? CVA seems fairly priced right now, but given the uncertainty from negative returns in the future, this could be the right time to reduce the risk in your portfolio. Is your current exposure to the stock optimal for your total portfolio? And is the opportunity cost of holding a negative-outlook stock too high? Before you make a decision on the stock, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on CVA for a while, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. The price seems to be trading at fair value, which means there’s less benefit from mispricing. Furthermore, the negative growth outlook increases the risk of holding the stock. However, there are also other important factors we haven’t considered today, which can help gel your views on CVA should the price fluctuate below its true value.

Price is just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper into what truly matters – the fundamentals – before you make a decision on Covanta Holding. You can find everything you need to know about Covanta Holding in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in Covanta Holding, 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.