U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,911.74
    +116.01 (+3.06%)
     
  • Dow 30

    31,500.68
    +823.32 (+2.68%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    11,607.62
    +375.43 (+3.34%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,765.74
    +54.06 (+3.16%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    107.06
    +2.79 (+2.68%)
     
  • Gold

    1,828.10
    -1.70 (-0.09%)
     
  • Silver

    21.13
    +0.09 (+0.42%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0559
    +0.0034 (+0.33%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.1250
    +0.0570 (+1.86%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2270
    +0.0009 (+0.07%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    135.1700
    +0.2370 (+0.18%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    21,273.14
    +71.58 (+0.34%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    462.12
    +8.22 (+1.81%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,208.81
    +188.36 (+2.68%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,491.97
    +320.72 (+1.23%)
     

American Realty Investors, Inc.'s (NYSE:ARL) Share Price Could Signal Some Risk

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

American Realty Investors, Inc.'s (NYSE:ARL) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 22.9x might make it look like a sell right now compared to the market in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 16x and even P/E's below 9x are quite common. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's lofty.

American Realty Investors has been doing a good job lately as it's been growing earnings at a solid pace. It might be that many expect the respectable earnings performance to beat most other companies over the coming period, which has increased investors’ willingness to pay up for the stock. If not, then existing shareholders may be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

View our latest analysis for American Realty Investors

pe
pe

Although there are no analyst estimates available for American Realty Investors, take a look at this free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Does Growth Match The High P/E?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as high as American Realty Investors' is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the market.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company managed to grow earnings per share by a handy 14% last year. Ultimately though, it couldn't turn around the poor performance of the prior period, with EPS shrinking 57% in total over the last three years. Therefore, it's fair to say the earnings growth recently has been undesirable for the company.

Comparing that to the market, which is predicted to deliver 10% growth in the next 12 months, the company's downward momentum based on recent medium-term earnings results is a sobering picture.

With this information, we find it concerning that American Realty Investors is trading at a P/E higher than the market. It seems most investors are ignoring the recent poor growth rate and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as a continuation of recent earnings trends is likely to weigh heavily on the share price eventually.

The Bottom Line On American Realty Investors' P/E

It's argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.

We've established that American Realty Investors currently trades on a much higher than expected P/E since its recent earnings have been in decline over the medium-term. Right now we are increasingly uncomfortable with the high P/E as this earnings performance is highly unlikely to support such positive sentiment for long. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it will place shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.

Don't forget that there may be other risks. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for American Realty Investors (1 is a bit concerning) you should be aware of.

Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than American Realty Investors. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that sit on P/E's below 20x and have grown earnings strongly.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.