Let's talk about the popular Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE:PKG). The company's shares saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in the past couple of months on the NYSE. With many analysts covering the large-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 take a look at Packaging Corporation of America’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if the opportunity still exists.
Is Packaging Corporation of America Still Cheap?
According to my price multiple model, which makes a comparison between the company's price-to-earnings ratio and the industry average, the stock price seems to be justfied. 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 15.46x is currently trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 13.57x, which means if you buy Packaging Corporation of America today, you’d be paying a relatively sensible price for it. And if you believe Packaging Corporation of America should be trading in this range, then there isn’t really any room for the share price grow beyond the levels of other industry peers over the long-term. Furthermore, it seems like Packaging Corporation of America’s share price is quite stable, which means there may be less chances to buy low in the future now that it’s priced similarly to industry peers. This is because the stock is less volatile than the wider market given its low beta.
What does the future of Packaging Corporation of America 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 Packaging Corporation of America, it is expected to deliver a relatively unexciting earnings growth of 2.1%, 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 PKG’s growth outlook, with shares trading around industry price multiples. 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 PKG? 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 tabs on PKG, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the positive growth outlook may mean it’s worth diving deeper into other factors in order to take advantage of the next price drop.
So while earnings quality is important, it's equally important to consider the risks facing Packaging Corporation of America at this point in time. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Packaging Corporation of America you should know about.
If you are no longer interested in Packaging Corporation of America, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.
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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.