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Does MCAN Mortgage Corporation’s (TSE:MKP) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

Kristin Rankin

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 MCAN Mortgage Corporation’s (TSE:MKP) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. MCAN Mortgage has a price to earnings ratio of 7.48, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 13%.

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How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for MCAN Mortgage:

P/E of 7.48 = CA$13.85 ÷ CA$1.85 (Based on the year to September 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. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

It’s great to see that MCAN Mortgage grew EPS by 13% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 5.0% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

How Does MCAN Mortgage’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (12.1) for companies in the mortgage industry is higher than MCAN Mortgage’s P/E.

TSX:MKP PE PEG Gauge January 22nd 19

MCAN Mortgage’s P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. 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 MCAN Mortgage’s P/E?

MCAN Mortgage has net debt worth a very significant 257% of its market capitalization. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you must keep in mind that these debt levels would usually warrant a relatively low P/E.

The Bottom Line On MCAN Mortgage’s P/E Ratio

MCAN Mortgage’s P/E is 7.5 which is below average (14.2) in the CA market. The company has a meaningful amount of debt on the balance sheet, but that should not eclipse the solid earnings growth. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.

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.’ So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

You might be able to find a better buy than MCAN Mortgage. 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).

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.