Exploding 30% in a month, is it too late to buy Pilbara Minerals shares?

Could there still be money to be made in this lithium share?

| More on:
A businesswoman on the phone is shocked as she looks at her watch, she's running out of time.

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Key points

  • Pilbara Minerals shares have been hot property recently, soaring 30% in the past month
  • Wilsons believes there could be further upside as lithium supply falls short of demand
  • Jean-Claude Perrottet recently named Pilbara Minerals a hold

Sometimes we can make the mistake of avoiding an investment purely because it has gone up. The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price has made a tantalising gain of 30% in a month, even with today's 7% dive. So, could passing up on Pilbara Minerals shares be a costly decision?

We take a look at what some experts in the industry think of this ASX-listed lithium titan following its remarkable performance. Could there still be money left on the table, or could it be overblown hype on the future of lithium?

Could Pilbara Minerals shares still light up a portfolio?

Peering back at the end of 2020, Pilbara Minerals was beginning to tap into a resurgence in lithium expectation. The company's shares had tripled in value that year, despite recording a loss of $57 million on $105 million in revenue.

Fast forward to today, and Pilbara Minerals' fundamentals have grown into the prior speculation. At the end of June 2022, the $14.5 billion company posted an astounding $561.8 million profit on $1.19 billion in revenue. That's right, a 47% profit margin… incredible!

However, the future success of Pilbara Minerals and its shares is likely to be highly contingent on where the lithium price heads next. Fortunately, the team over at Wilsons believes there are even brighter days still to come for the critical battery material.

As previously penned by my colleague, Tony Yoo, Wilsons is noticing a potential dislocation between expectations and future reality for available lithium supply. As such, the team at Wilsons said:

We believe there could be significant upside to the forecast long-term price if there is a supply-demand imbalance and the current price profile looks too pessimistic.

Wilsons also pointed to Pilbara Minerals as one ASX lithium share they like in the space.

In addition, private client advisor Jean-Claude Perrottet of Medallion Financial Group labelled Pilbara Minerals shares a hold in a recent article on The Bull. According to Perrottet, "The outlook is bright if prices remain elevated".

What about valuation?

Right now, investors in Pilbara Minerals shares are getting a lithium producer at around 26 times price-to-earnings (P/E). For comparison, its peer average earnings multiple sits around 19 times.

However, the company is currently saddled with cash. As at 30 June 2022, Pilbara tallied up $591.7 million in cash and equivalents, with only $234.7 million in debt. This gives it a net cash position of approximately $357 million.

The Pilbara Minerals share price has far exceeded the returns of the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) over the last year. The high-flyer has run up a 108% positive return for its shareholders, while the benchmark has fallen 12%.

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

More on Materials Shares

A man holds his head in his hands, despairing at the bad result he's reading on his computer.
Materials Shares

Liontown shares are down 17% in a month: What's going on?

This lithium share has failed to roar in recent weeks.

Read more »

A man wearing a shirt, tie and hard hat sits in an office and marks dates in his diary.
Materials Shares

Own Rio Tinto shares? Add these dates to your diary in 2024

Here's what Rio Tinto has planned for next year.

Read more »

A man sits uncomfortably at his laptop computer in an outdoor location at a table with trees in the background as he clutches the back of his neck with a wincing look on his face.
Materials Shares

Why did the Core Lithium share price just hit a 2-year low?

Top broker Goldman Sachs says falling lithium commodity prices may hit Core Lithium particularly hard.

Read more »

A cute little boy, short in height, wearing glasses, old-fashioned bow tie and cardigan stands against a wall near a tape measure with his hand at the top of his head as though to measure his height.
Broker Notes

Are ASX short sellers right about Pilbara Minerals shares?

Let's see what some of the big brokers think.

Read more »

A female miner wearing a high vis vest and hard hard smiles and holds a clipboard while inspecting a mine site with a colleague.
Materials Shares

What are brokers saying about the BHP share price?

This mining giant's shares are having a strong month. Can the run continue?

Read more »

Man with rocket wings which have flames coming out of them.
Share Gainers

Which ASX lithium stock has soared 246% in just a month?

IPO investors are rubbing their hands in delight.

Read more »

Three miners stand together at a mine site studying documents with equipment in the background
Materials Shares

What is the outlook for ASX lithium shares in 2024?

How are things looking for these miners?

Read more »

a miniature moulded model of a man bent over with a pick working stands behind a sign that has lithium's scientific abbreviation 'Li' with the word lithium underneath it against a sparse bland background.
Materials Shares

What will the lithium price be in 2024?

Will lithium prices continue to fall next year?

Read more »