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Does IPOPEMA Securities Spólka Akcyjna’s (WSE:IPE) PE Ratio Warrant A Sell?

Ajay Mannan

IPOPEMA Securities Spólka Akcyjna (WSE:IPE) is trading with a trailing P/E of 22.7x, which is higher than the industry average of 14.9x. While this makes IPE appear like a stock to avoid or sell if you own it, you might change your mind after I explain the assumptions behind the P/E ratio. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it. See our latest analysis for IPOPEMA Securities Spólka Akcyjna

Breaking down the Price-Earnings ratio

WSE:IPE PE PEG Gauge May 28th 18

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 IPE

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

IPE Price-Earnings Ratio = PLN1.25 ÷ PLN0.055 = 22.7x

The P/E ratio itself doesn’t tell you a lot; however, it becomes very insightful 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 IPE, such as capital structure and profitability. One way of gathering a peer group is to use firms in the same industry, which is what I’ll do. At 22.7x, IPE’s P/E is higher than its industry peers (14.9x). This implies that investors are overvaluing each dollar of IPE’s earnings. As such, our analysis shows that IPE represents an over-priced stock.

Assumptions to be aware of

Before you jump to the conclusion that IPE should be banished from your portfolio, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to IPE, or else the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if you compared higher growth firms with IPE, then its P/E would naturally be lower since investors would reward its peers’ higher growth with a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing IPE to are fairly valued by the market. If this is violated, IPE’s P/E may be lower than its peers as they are actually overvalued by investors.

What this means for you:

Since you may have already conducted your due diligence on IPE, the overvaluation of the stock may mean it is a good time to reduce your current holdings. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that relative valuation relies heavily on critical assumptions I’ve outlined 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:

  1. Financial Health: Is IPE’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.
  2. Past Track Record: Has IPE been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of IPE’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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 pass 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.