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At US$18.42, Is Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) Worth Looking At Closely?

Simply Wall St

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Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO), which is in the consumer services business, and is based in United States, saw a decent share price growth in the teens level on the NASDAQGS over the last few months. Less-covered, small caps sees 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 take a look at Career Education’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.

View our latest analysis for Career Education

Is Career Education 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 Career Education’s ratio of 20.36x is trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 24.62x, which means if you buy Career Education today, you’d be paying a reasonable price for it. And if you believe that Career Education should be trading at this level in the long run, then there’s not much of an upside to gain from mispricing. So, is there another chance to buy low in the future? Given that Career Education’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 Career Education look like?

NasdaqGS:CECO Past and Future Earnings, June 27th 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. Career Education’s earnings over the next few years are expected to increase by 51%, 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? CECO’s optimistic future growth appears to have been factored into the current share price, with shares trading around its fair value. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the track record of its management team. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at CECO? 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 tabs on CECO, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for CECO, which means it’s worth further examining 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 Career Education. You can find everything you need to know about Career Education in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in Career Education, 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.