General Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:GFN), is not the largest company out there, but it led the NASDAQGM gainers with a relatively large price hike in the past couple of weeks. As a small cap stock, hardly covered by any analysts, there is generally more of an opportunity for mispricing as there is less activity to push the stock closer to fair value. Is there still an opportunity here to buy? Let’s take a look at General Finance’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is General Finance still cheap?
General Finance is currently expensive based on my price multiple model, where I look at the company’s price-to-earnings ratio in comparison 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 21.32x is currently well-above the industry average of 15.34x, meaning that it is trading at a more expensive price relative to its peers. If you like the stock, you may want to keep an eye out for a potential price decline in the future. Since General Finance’s share price is quite volatile, this could mean it can sink lower (or rise even further) in the future, giving us another chance to invest. 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 General Finance?
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. With profit expected to grow by 31% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for General Finance. 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 well and truly priced in GFN’s positive outlook, with shares trading above industry price multiples. At this current price, shareholders may be asking a different question – should I sell? If you believe GFN should trade below its current price, selling high and buying it back up again when its price falls towards the industry PE ratio can be profitable. But before you make this decision, take a look at whether its fundamentals have changed.
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on GFN for some time, now may not be the best time to enter into the stock. The price has surpassed its industry peers, which means it is likely that there is no more upside from mispricing. However, the optimistic prospect is encouraging for GFN, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.
If you want to dive deeper into General Finance, you’d also look into what risks it is currently facing. For example, General Finance has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.
If you are no longer interested in General Finance, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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.