Stock Valuation Differentials

Whittier Trust’s Thoughts On Stock Valuation Differentials

Finance 5 Mins Read May 2, 2024 Posted by Mony Shah

Are you trying to understand stock valuation? Then, you might be trying to decipher a complex puzzle in the world of finance. As an investor, you will always be perplexed by the question of why one stock is valued so high while the other isn’t.

However, there is an answer to this question if you understand the different factors related to stock valuations. From sector composition to fundamental quality, several factors together make up the stock valuation. In this article, Whittier Trust portfolio analysts look to unveil the truth behind stock valuation differentials, shedding light on the intricate interplay of these fundamental drivers.

Factors Which Sets The Road For Stock Valuation

Factors Which Sets The Road For Stock Valuation

Here are the factors that make understanding stock valuation easier so that you can invest in profitable stocks.

Sector Compositions

One of the biggest factors that affects different stock prices is sector composition. If it is not clear as to what we mean by sector composition, then let us explain it. Different equities and stocks are valued differently because different places have different GDPs.

Suppose we take an example of the U.S., which has one of the highest GDPs in the world. Here, when a stock is listed in the market, it will cost you more than a stock listed by a developing country.

You will observe that the U.S. dominates the communication and technology sectors in stock valuation. This is simply because of their advancement in these sectors, which makes the stock valuation higher in that sector.

A higher growth rate in the technology and communication sector also increases the stock valuation of the sector. So, you are getting how sector valuation factors during stock pricing in the overall investment market.

From international stocks to domestic stocks, you will find that small-cap stocks offer better returns in less glamorous industries. There, the stocks are of less value due to slower growth prospects and lower profitability.

We believe that a significant portion of the higher valuation for large-cap stocks stems from this favorable quality distinction. U.S. large-cap stocks tend to demonstrate stronger financial and operational quality when compared to small-cap and international stocks. They typically show higher profitability and lower risk.

Growth Prospects

Sector composition alone, however, does not paint the full picture. To gain a deeper understanding of market insights, you need to delve into the realm of growth prospects.

You already know that increased growth in a sector leads to greater stock valuation in the stock market. Similarly, you must understand the growth prospects of your stocks to get higher returns. If the technology sector is growing in the market automatically, you will invest in these stocks in hopes of higher returns. As an investor, you always look for stocks that can bring you high profits in the future. This expectation of future returns makes it essential for you to understand growth prospects in the market.

When you understand growth prospects, you will automatically make the right picks in stock with high earnings in the future. You get to analyze the market flow toward potential growth in the future.

Some of the companies like Nvidia, Microsoft, and Apple are the reason for the U.S. large-cap stocks’ higher rates. With rapid growth, investments also increase in the U.S. tech sector in hopes of higher returns in the future.

In contrast, small-cap and international stocks grapple with tepid growth outlooks, dampening their allure in the eyes of investors.

Fundamental Quality

Fundamental quality also emerges as a pivotal factor, casting a spotlight on the stability, durability, and resilience of companies. Return on invested capital (ROIC) serves as a powerful barometer of profitability, with U.S. large-cap stocks boasting unprecedented levels of returns compared to their smaller and international counterparts.

Moreover, the relative standard deviation of ROIC and operating margins underscores the inherent riskiness of small-cap and international stocks, further widening the valuation differentials.

Armed with these insights and by paying attention to these metrics, Whittier Trust portfolio managers navigate the intricate maze of stock valuations with greater clarity and confidence.

By understanding the underlying drivers shaping valuation differentials, they can make informed decisions to optimize their investment portfolios. However, it is essential to exercise caution and avoid falling prey to value traps or mirages lurking in the market.

What Is Stock Valuation?

Two Types OF Stock Valuation

If you are new to investing in the stock market, you might want to understand stock valuation before you start investing in stocks. Stock valuation is how you make informed decisions about which stocks you should invest in to get higher returns.

Through stock valuation, you can decide if the company’s stock you are investing in is of fair value. You can also use this technique to predict if you will get higher returns from a stock in the long run.

As an investor, you hope to invest in stocks that will give you profits, not losses, so stock valuation tools help you avoid losses. Since stock prediction is very volatile, you can never be sure of which way the market grows.

But through stock valuation, you get the potential market prices of the stocks, increasing your chances of getting higher returns. So, invest consciously by understanding the stock valuation and predicting which stocks can get you higher returns.

When you understand the investment process, market fluctuations do not matter in the long run.

Two Types OF Stock Valuation

There are two divisions of Stock Valuation.

  1. Relative Valuation

You use growth rate, enterprise value, return on assets, earning per share, price per earning, market capitalization, enterprise value-to-sales ratio, and price-earning-to-growth ratio to measure relative valuation.

  1. Absolute Valuation

You use the DDM Model, DCF Model, and Comparable method to find the absolute valuation.


The truth behind stock valuation differentials lies in a complex interplay of sector compositions, growth prospects, and fundamental quality.

On one hand, the international and small-cap struggle to get a higher stock valuation, on the other hand, the U.S. large-cap stocks valuation increases rapidly. This makes small-cap, value, and international stocks value much less than large-cap stocks, increasing the risks.

When the financial landscape continues to evolve, only stock valuation tools will help you avoid market risks. This is why investing in stocks through stock valuation decreases your risk factors.

When you understand the stock valuation, your stocks can increase in valuation sustainably and prosper in the long term even in this changing market.

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