Is beaten-down Altium Limited a bargain buy?

Credit: Printed Circuit Corporation.

Much to the dismay of its shareholders, the shares of Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) have once again dropped lower today. In morning trade the shares were lower by as much as 6%, meaning it was down by over 21% from its September high of $9.98.

At this price I think it is fair to say that the software-as-a-service company is starting to look like a real bargain.

In FY 2016 the company reported a 20.9% rise in EBITDA to US$27.4 million. Thanks to the phenomenal growth of the internet of things market, I expect this level of performance will be maintained for some time to come.

According to information technology research firm Gartner, there will be 6.4 billion connected devices in use worldwide by the end of the year. Gartner expects this to rise to a staggering 20.8 billion devices by 2020.

Altium plays a key role in the industry by providing software that enables companies to design the printed circuit boards used in connected devices.

So with the industry growing at such a rapid rate I feel confident that management will achieve its target of doubling its revenue to US$200 million by 2020.

Especially with its partnership with France-based software giant Dassault Systemes expected to boost top line growth from next year. Pleasingly this leading mechanical computer aided design company recently included Altium’s software in the latest version of its popular SolidWorks product.

Each of the last five years has seen Altium increase its EBITDA margin. Currently the company boasts an EBITDA margin of 29%, but as it continues to scale I expect its margins could still expand further.

In light of this I feel confident that the company will continue to grow its earnings at a rapid clip at least through to 2020.

So with its shares changing hands at 25x estimated FY 2017 earnings, I feel Altium is up there with Aconex Ltd (ASX: ACX) and iSentia Group Ltd (ASX: ISD) as one of the best investments in the information technology industry today.

Finally, if you need to make space in your portfolio for Altium I would highly recommend removing these three wealth destroying shares. Each could be harming your portfolio and it might be best swapping them out sooner rather than later.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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