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Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is China Logistics Property Holdings Co., Ltd (HKG:1589) Still Undervalued?

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to China Logistics Property Holdings Co., Ltd's (HKG:1589), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, China Logistics Property Holdings's P/E ratio is 18.92. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.3%.

See our latest analysis for China Logistics Property Holdings

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share (in the reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for China Logistics Property Holdings:

P/E of 18.92 = HK$2.69 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, CNY ) ÷ HK$0.14 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each HK$1 of company earnings. That isn't a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business's prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

How Does China Logistics Property Holdings's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that China Logistics Property Holdings has a higher P/E than the average (6.9) P/E for companies in the real estate industry.

SEHK:1589 Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 8th 2020

China Logistics Property Holdings's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the 'E' will be lower. That means even if the current P/E is low, it will increase over time if the share price stays flat. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others -- and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

China Logistics Property Holdings saw earnings per share decrease by 43% last year. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 13% per year over the last five years. This could justify a pessimistic P/E.

Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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.

China Logistics Property Holdings's Balance Sheet

China Logistics Property Holdings's net debt is 67% of its market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Verdict On China Logistics Property Holdings's P/E Ratio

China Logistics Property Holdings trades on a P/E ratio of 18.9, which is above its market average of 10.6. With significant debt and no EPS growth last year, shareholders are betting on an improvement in earnings from the company.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, 'In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine. Although we don't have analyst forecasts shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than China Logistics Property Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.