The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want to learn about the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.
CLPS Incorporation (NASDAQ:CLPS) trades with a trailing P/E of 59.8, which is higher than the industry average of 26.2. Although some investors may see this as unappealing, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before making judgments. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it.
What you need to know about the P/E ratio
A common ratio used for relative valuation is the P/E ratio. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.
P/E Calculation for CLPS
Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share
CLPS Price-Earnings Ratio = $12.65 ÷ $0.211 = 59.8x
On its own, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell you much; however, it becomes extremely useful when you compare it with other similar companies. We preferably want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar features to CLPS, such as capital structure and profitability. A common peer group is companies that exist in the same industry, which is what I use. CLPS’s P/E of 59.8 is higher than its industry peers (26.2), which implies that each dollar of CLPS’s earnings is being overvalued by investors. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 IT companies in US including e-Synergies, Bitfarms Technologies and Fintech Select. You could also say that the market is suggesting that CLPS is a stronger business than the average comparable company.
Assumptions to be aware of
Before you jump to conclusions it is important to realise that there are assumptions in this analysis. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to CLPS. If not, the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, CLPS Incorporation could be growing more quickly than the companies we’re comparing it with. In that case it would deserve a higher P/E ratio. We should also be aware that the stocks we are comparing to CLPS may not be fairly valued. Just because it is trading on a higher P/E ratio than its peers does not mean it must be overvalued. After all, the peer group could be undervalued.
What this means for you:
If your personal research into the stock confirms what the P/E ratio is telling you, it might be a good time to rebalance your portfolio and reduce your holdings in CLPS. But keep in mind that the usefulness of relative valuation depends on whether you are comfortable with making the assumptions I mentioned above. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CLPS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CLPS’s outlook.
- Financial Health: Are CLPS’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.