Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited's (HKG:1238), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Powerlong Real Estate Holdings has a P/E ratio of 4.28, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 23.4%.
How Do I Calculate Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Powerlong Real Estate Holdings:
P/E of 4.28 = CN¥4.295 ÷ CN¥1.004 (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)
(Note: the above calculation uses the share price in the reporting currency, namely CNY and the calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)
Is A High P/E Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each CN¥1 of company earnings. That isn't necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.
Does Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (6.3) for companies in the real estate industry is higher than Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's P/E.
This suggests that market participants think Powerlong Real Estate Holdings will underperform other companies in its industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. 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.
Notably, Powerlong Real Estate Holdings grew EPS by a whopping 41% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 24% per year over the last five years. So we'd generally expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. 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 investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).
While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Is Debt Impacting Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's P/E?
Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's net debt is considerable, at 193% of its market cap. This is a relatively high level of debt, so the stock probably deserves a relatively low P/E ratio. Keep that in mind when comparing it to other companies.
The Verdict On Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's P/E Ratio
Powerlong Real Estate Holdings's P/E is 4.3 which is below average (9.6) in the HK market. The company has a meaningful amount of debt on the balance sheet, but that should not eclipse the solid earnings growth. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Powerlong Real Estate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.