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Close the Loop Ltd's (ASX:CLG) P/E Is On The Mark

·3 min read

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 31x Close the Loop Ltd (ASX:CLG) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in Australia have P/E ratios under 14x and even P/E's lower than 8x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.

Close the Loop could be doing better as its earnings have been going backwards lately while most other companies have been seeing positive earnings growth. One possibility is that the P/E is high because investors think this poor earnings performance will turn the corner. If not, then existing shareholders may be extremely nervous about the viability of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for Close the Loop

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Keen to find out how analysts think Close the Loop's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

Does Growth Match The High P/E?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as steep as Close the Loop's is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the market decidedly.

If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 50%. Unfortunately, that's brought it right back to where it started three years ago with EPS growth being virtually non-existent overall during that time. Accordingly, shareholders probably wouldn't have been overly satisfied with the unstable medium-term growth rates.

Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to climb by 25% each year during the coming three years according to the only analyst following the company. With the market only predicted to deliver 13% per year, the company is positioned for a stronger earnings result.

With this information, we can see why Close the Loop is trading at such a high P/E compared to the market. Apparently shareholders aren't keen to offload something that is potentially eyeing a more prosperous future.

The Key Takeaway

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.

As we suspected, our examination of Close the Loop's analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook is contributing to its high P/E. Right now shareholders are comfortable with the P/E as they are quite confident future earnings aren't under threat. Unless these conditions change, they will continue to provide strong support to the share price.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Close the Loop (at least 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable), and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with a strong growth track record, trading on a P/E below 20x.

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.

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