Today is Tuesday, January 7, 2020 and here’s your daily small cap valuation.
Washington Federal (NASDAQ: WAFD) is a small-cap stock that could have a lot of potential. But it’s hard to value smaller companies like this. Conventional valuation metrics like price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, profit margin, and return on equity (ROE) may not be available for them.
To get a sense of Washington Federal’s true valuation, let’s compare it to its industry peers — and to itself one year ago. We’ll look at four small cap valuation metrics…
Price-to-Book Value (P/B) Ratio
Washington Federal’s price-to-book value (P/B) ratio of 1.38 is 44.31% higher than its industry average of 0.9563. That’s not good. A high P/B ratio may indicate that there’s something wrong with the company’s balance sheet — or that the stock is trading for an unusually high price based on its balance sheet.
Free Cash Flow Yield (FCF/Enterprise Value)
Washington Federal’s free cash flow yield (FCF/EV) of 6.25% is 59.02% lower than its industry average of 15.25%. That’s not good. This metric compares free cash flow (the amount of cash left over after all expenses and capital expenditures have been paid) with enterprise value (a comprehensive alternative to market cap that includes cash and debt).
A low free cash flow yield indicates that a company is performing inefficiently — or that it’s struggling to repay the debt on its books.
Earnings per Share (EPS) Growth
Washington Federal has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by 9.21% in the last year. That’s good. Many smaller, newer companies have negative earnings for a few years, but that’s okay as long as earnings are going up over time.
Gross Margin Growth
Washington Federal’s gross margin is undefined. That’s not good. This may indicate that the company has failed to file an income statement properly. We have to fault it for this.
Washington Federal scored favorably on 1 of our 4 valuation metrics. With this in mind, we believe the stock is slightly overvalued.
Editor’s Note: We’ve been keeping an eye on a set of small-cap stocks that are a better value than Washington Federal. These stocks have the potential for bigger gains — and they’re far less risky than the speculative small caps many investors gamble on. Enter your email below to learn more.