To the annoyance of some shareholders, Ozner Water International Holding (HKG:2014) shares are down a considerable 31% in the last month. Given the 66% drop over the last year, some shareholders might be worried that they have become bagholders. For those wondering, a bagholder is someone who keeps holding a losing stock indefinitely, without taking the time to consider its prospects carefully, going forward.
All else being equal, a share price drop should make a stock more attractive to potential investors. In the long term, share prices tend to follow earnings per share, but in the short term prices bounce around in response to short term factors (which are not always obvious). The implication here is that long term investors have an opportunity when expectations of a company are too low. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E implies that investors have high expectations of what a company can achieve compared to a company with a low P/E ratio.
Does Ozner Water International Holding Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
Ozner Water International Holding's P/E of 8.35 indicates relatively low sentiment towards the stock. If you look at the image below, you can see Ozner Water International Holding has a lower P/E than the average (12.1) in the consumer durables industry classification.
Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Ozner Water International Holding shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Since the market seems unimpressed with Ozner Water International Holding, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
When earnings fall, the 'E' decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others -- and that may encourage shareholders to sell.
Ozner Water International Holding's earnings per share fell by 47% in the last twelve months. And over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have decreased 11% annually. This might lead to muted expectations.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet
One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.
Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).
How Does Ozner Water International Holding's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?
Net debt totals a substantial 132% of Ozner Water International Holding's market cap. 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 Verdict On Ozner Water International Holding's P/E Ratio
Ozner Water International Holding trades on a P/E ratio of 8.4, which is below the HK market average of 10.0. Given meaningful debt, and a lack of recent growth, the market looks to be extrapolating this recent performance; reflecting low expectations for the future. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become more pessimistic about Ozner Water International Holding over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 12.1 back then to 8.4 today. For those who prefer invest in growth, this stock apparently offers limited promise, but the deep value investors may find the pessimism around this stock enticing.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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 visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
But note: Ozner Water International Holding may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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