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Covanta Holding Stock Is Estimated To Be Fairly Valued

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May 06, 2021
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The stock of Covanta Holding (NYSE:CVA, 30-year Financials) shows every sign of being fairly valued, according to GuruFocus Value calculation. GuruFocus Value is GuruFocus' estimate of the fair value at which the stock should be traded. It is calculated based on the historical multiples that the stock has traded at, the past business growth and analyst estimates of future business performance. If the price of a stock is significantly above the GF Value Line, it is overvalued and its future return is likely to be poor. On the other hand, if it is significantly below the GF Value Line, its future return will likely be higher. At its current price of $15.19 per share and the market cap of $2 billion, Covanta Holding stock gives every indication of being fairly valued. GF Value for Covanta Holding is shown in the chart below.

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Because Covanta Holding is fairly valued, the long-term return of its stock is likely to be close to the rate of its business growth, which averaged 2.6% over the past three years and is estimated to grow 2.54% annually over the next three to five years.

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Companies with poor financial strength offer investors a high risk of permanent capital loss. To avoid permanent capital loss, an investor must do their research and review a company's financial strength before deciding to purchase shares. Both the cash-to-debt ratio and interest coverage of a company are a great way to to understand its financial strength. Covanta Holding has a cash-to-debt ratio of 0.02, which which ranks in the bottom 10% of the companies in Waste Management industry. The overall financial strength of Covanta Holding is 2 out of 10, which indicates that the financial strength of Covanta Holding is poor. This is the debt and cash of Covanta Holding over the past years:

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Investing in profitable companies carries less risk, especially in companies that have demonstrated consistent profitability over the long term. Typically, a company with high profit margins offers better performance potential than a company with low profit margins. Covanta Holding has been profitable 6 years over the past 10 years. During the past 12 months, the company had revenues of $1.9 billion and earnings of $0.04 a share. Its operating margin of 4.91% in the middle range of the companies in Waste Management industry. Overall, GuruFocus ranks Covanta Holding's profitability as fair. This is the revenue and net income of Covanta Holding over the past years:

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Growth is probably the most important factor in the valuation of a company. GuruFocus research has found that growth is closely correlated with the long term performance of a company's stock. The faster a company is growing, the more likely it is to be creating value for shareholders, especially if the growth is profitable. The 3-year average annual revenue growth rate of Covanta Holding is 2.6%, which ranks in the middle range of the companies in Waste Management industry. The 3-year average EBITDA growth rate is 10.3%, which ranks in the middle range of the companies in Waste Management industry.

Another way to look at the profitability of a company is to compare its return on invested capital and the weighted cost of capital. Return on invested capital (ROIC) measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. The weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets. We want to have the return on invested capital higher than the weighted cost of capital. For the past 12 months, Covanta Holding's return on invested capital is -0.20, and its cost of capital is 3.53. The historical ROIC vs WACC comparison of Covanta Holding is shown below:

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To conclude, the stock of Covanta Holding (NYSE:CVA, 30-year Financials) is estimated to be fairly valued. The company's financial condition is poor and its profitability is fair. Its growth ranks in the middle range of the companies in Waste Management industry. To learn more about Covanta Holding stock, you can check out its 30-year Financials here.

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