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Does ReTo Eco-Solutions Inc’s (RETO) PE Ratio Warrant A Sell?

Jason Fuller

ReTo Eco-Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:RETO) is currently trading at a trailing P/E of 41.9x, which is higher than the industry average of 20.7x. While RETO might seem like a stock to avoid or sell if you own it, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before you make any investment decisions. Today, I will break down what the P/E ratio is, how to interpret it and what to watch out for. See our latest analysis for RETO

What you need to know about the P/E ratio

NasdaqCM:RETO PE PEG Gauge Dec 2nd 17
NasdaqCM:RETO PE PEG Gauge Dec 2nd 17

The P/E ratio is a popular ratio used in relative valuation since earnings power is a key driver of investment value. It compares a stock’s price per share to the stock’s earnings per share. A more intuitive way of understanding the P/E ratio is to think of it as how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for RETO

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

RETO Price-Earnings Ratio = $10.1 ÷ $0.241 = 41.9x

On its own, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell you much; however, it becomes extremely useful when you compare it with other similar companies. We want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar characteristics as RETO, such as size and country of operation. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. Since RETO’s P/E of 41.9x is higher than its industry peers (20.7x), it means that investors are paying more than they should for each dollar of RETO’s earnings. As such, our analysis shows that RETO represents an over-priced stock.

Assumptions to be aware of

Before you jump to the conclusion that RETO should be banished from your portfolio, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. Firstly, our peer group contains companies that are similar to RETO. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, if you are comparing lower risk firms with RETO, then its P/E would naturally be lower than its peers, as investors would value those with lower risk at a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing RETO to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold true, RETO’s lower P/E ratio may be because firms in our peer group are overvalued by the market.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You may have already conducted fundamental analysis on the stock as a shareholder, so its current overvaluation could signal a potential selling opportunity to reduce your exposure to RETO. Now that you understand the ins and outs of the PE metric, you should know to bear in mind its limitations before you make an investment decision.

Are you a potential investor? If RETO has been on your watch list for a while, it is best you also consider its intrinsic valuation. Looking at PE on its own will not give you the full picture of the stock as an investment, so I suggest you should also look at other relative valuation metrics like EV/EBITDA or PEG.

PE is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on ReTo Eco-Solutions for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. Since we know a limitation of PE is it doesn’t properly account for growth, you can use our free platform to see my list of stocks with a high growth potential and see if their PE is still reasonable.

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.