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Should You Think About Buying LSL Property Services plc (LON:LSL) Now?

LSL Property Services plc (LON:LSL), might not be a large cap stock, but it received a lot of attention from a substantial price movement on the LSE over the last few months, increasing to UK£3.52 at one point, and dropping to the lows of UK£2.20. 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 LSL Property Services' current trading price of UK£2.39 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 LSL Property Services’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 LSL Property Services

What Is LSL Property Services Worth?

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 5.43x is currently trading slightly below its industry peers’ ratio of 7.83x, which means if you buy LSL Property Services today, you’d be paying a reasonable price for it. And if you believe that LSL Property Services should be trading at this level in the long run, then there’s not much of an upside to gain over and above other industry peers. Although, there may be an opportunity to buy in the future. This is because LSL Property Services’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.

Can we expect growth from LSL Property Services?

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. However, with a negative profit growth of -15% expected over the next couple of years, near-term growth certainly doesn’t appear to be a driver for a buy decision for LSL Property Services. This certainty tips the risk-return scale towards higher risk.

What This Means For You

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

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping an eye on LSL for a while, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. This 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 crystallize your views on LSL should the price fluctuate below the industry PE ratio.

If you want to dive deeper into LSL Property Services, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. For example, we've found that LSL Property Services has 3 warning signs (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that deserve your attention before going any further with your analysis.

If you are no longer interested in LSL Property Services, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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