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Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Movado Group, Inc. (NYSE:MOV) Still Undervalued?

Ajay Mannan

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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Movado Group, Inc.’s (NYSE:MOV) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Movado Group has a price to earnings ratio of 76.96, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $76.96 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Movado Group

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Movado Group:

P/E of 76.96 = $34.12 ÷ $0.44 (Based on the year to October 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

When earnings fall, the ‘E’ decreases, over time. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

Movado Group shrunk earnings per share by 57% over the last year. And over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have decreased 29% annually. This growth rate might warrant a below average P/E ratio.

How Does Movado Group’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below, Movado Group has a much higher P/E than the average company (16.9) in the luxury industry.

NYSE:MOV PE PEG Gauge February 19th 19

Movado Group’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining cash).

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

Is Debt Impacting Movado Group’s P/E?

The extra options and safety that comes with Movado Group’s US$93m net cash position means that it deserves a higher P/E than it would if it had a lot of net debt.

The Verdict On Movado Group’s P/E Ratio

Movado Group trades on a P/E ratio of 77, which is multiples above the US market average of 17.2. The recent drop in earnings per share would make some investors cautious, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: and the high P/E suggests the market thinks it will.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold they key to an excellent investment decision.

You might be able to find a better buy than Movado Group. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.