Hays plc (LON:HAS), which is in the professional services business, and is based in United Kingdom, saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in the past couple of months on the LSE. With many analysts covering the mid-cap stock, we may expect any price-sensitive announcements have already been factored into the stock’s share price. However, could the stock still be trading at a relatively cheap price? Let’s examine Hays’s valuation and outlook in more detail to determine if there’s still a bargain opportunity.
What's the opportunity in Hays?
According to my valuation model, Hays seems to be fairly priced at around 1.6% below my intrinsic value, which means if you buy Hays today, you’d be paying a fair price for it. And if you believe the company’s true value is £1.80, 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 Hays’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 does the future of Hays 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. Though in the case of Hays, it is expected to deliver a relatively unexciting earnings growth of 2.7%, which doesn’t help build up its investment thesis. Growth doesn’t appear to be a main reason for a buy decision for the company, at least in the near term.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has already priced in HAS’s future outlook, 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 the stock? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below its fair value?
Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on HAS, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the positive outlook 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 Hays. You can find everything you need to know about Hays in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in Hays, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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. Thank you for reading.