CAI International, Inc. (NYSE:CAI), which is in the trade distributors business, and is based in United States, led the NYSE gainers with a relatively large price hike in the past couple of weeks. Less-covered, small caps tend to present more of an opportunity for mispricing due to the lack of information available to the public, which can be a good thing. So, could the stock still be trading at a low price relative to its actual value? Let’s examine CAI International’s valuation and outlook in more detail to determine if there’s still a bargain opportunity.
Is CAI International 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. 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 13.73x is currently trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 14.51x, which means if you buy CAI International today, you’d be paying a reasonable price for it. And if you believe CAI International should be trading in this range, then there isn’t much room for the share price to grow beyond the levels of other industry peers over the long-term. So, is there another chance to buy low in the future? Given that CAI International’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.
What does the future of CAI International look like?
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. With profit expected to grow by 74% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for CAI International. It looks like higher cash flow is on the cards for the stock, which should feed into a higher share valuation.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has already priced in CAI’s positive outlook, with shares trading around industry price multiples. 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 CAI? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below the industry PE ratio?
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on CAI, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for CAI, 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 CAI International. You can find everything you need to know about CAI International in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in CAI International, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Thank you for reading.