U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,901.36
    +0.57 (+0.01%)
     
  • Dow 30

    31,261.90
    +8.77 (+0.03%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    11,354.62
    -33.88 (-0.30%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,773.27
    -2.96 (-0.17%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    110.35
    +0.46 (+0.42%)
     
  • Gold

    1,845.10
    +3.90 (+0.21%)
     
  • Silver

    21.87
    -0.03 (-0.13%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0562
    -0.0026 (-0.2429%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    2.7870
    -0.0680 (-2.38%)
     
  • Vix

    29.43
    +0.08 (+0.27%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2495
    +0.0020 (+0.1587%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    127.8500
    +0.0560 (+0.0438%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    29,964.87
    +543.06 (+1.85%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    650.34
    -23.03 (-3.42%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,389.98
    +87.24 (+1.19%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,739.03
    +336.19 (+1.27%)
     

Autoscope Technologies Corporation's (NASDAQ:AATC) Shares Leap 26% Yet They're Still Not Telling The Full Story

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

Autoscope Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:AATC) shareholders would be excited to see that the share price has had a great month, posting a 26% gain and recovering from prior weakness. The last month tops off a massive increase of 112% in the last year.

Even after such a large jump in price, Autoscope Technologies may still be sending bullish signals at the moment with its price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 15.1x, since almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios greater than 18x and even P/E's higher than 36x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's limited.

For example, consider that Autoscope Technologies' financial performance has been poor lately as it's earnings have been in decline. One possibility is that the P/E is low because investors think the company won't do enough to avoid underperforming the broader market in the near future. However, if this doesn't eventuate then existing shareholders may be feeling optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for Autoscope Technologies

pe
pe

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

What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The Low P/E?

In order to justify its P/E ratio, Autoscope Technologies would need to produce sluggish growth that's trailing the market.

If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 53%. However, a few very strong years before that means that it was still able to grow EPS by an impressive 38% in total over the last three years. So we can start by confirming that the company has generally done a very good job of growing earnings over that time, even though it had some hiccups along the way.

Comparing that to the market, which is predicted to deliver 13% growth in the next 12 months, the company's momentum is pretty similar based on recent medium-term annualised earnings results.

In light of this, it's peculiar that Autoscope Technologies' P/E sits below the majority of other companies. Apparently some shareholders are more bearish than recent times would indicate and have been accepting lower selling prices.

The Final Word

The latest share price surge wasn't enough to lift Autoscope Technologies' P/E close to the market median. Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

Our examination of Autoscope Technologies revealed its three-year earnings trends aren't contributing to its P/E as much as we would have predicted, given they look similar to current market expectations. There could be some unobserved threats to earnings preventing the P/E ratio from matching the company's performance. It appears some are indeed anticipating earnings instability, because the persistence of these recent medium-term conditions should normally provide more support to the share price.

You should always think about risks. Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Autoscope Technologies you should be aware of.

If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly and trade on P/E's below 20x.

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.

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