Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Sachem Capital (NYSEMKT:SACH) share price has dived 34% in the last thirty days. Indeed the recent decline has arguably caused some bitterness for shareholders who have held through the 37% drop over twelve months.
All else being equal, a share price drop should make a stock more attractive to potential investors. While the market sentiment towards a stock is very changeable, in the long run, the share price will tend to move in the same direction as earnings per share. The implication here is that long term investors have an opportunity when expectations of a company are too low. Perhaps the simplest way to get a read on investors' expectations of a business is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E ratio means that investors have a high expectation about future growth, while a low P/E ratio means they have low expectations about future growth.
How Does Sachem Capital's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
Sachem Capital's P/E of 6.94 indicates relatively low sentiment towards the stock. If you look at the image below, you can see Sachem Capital has a lower P/E than the average (10.9) in the mortgage industry classification.
This suggests that market participants think Sachem Capital will underperform other companies in its industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Sachem Capital, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
Sachem Capital shrunk earnings per share by 19% over the last year. But over the longer term (3 years), earnings per share have increased by 6.0%.
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. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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).
Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.
Is Debt Impacting Sachem Capital's P/E?
Net debt totals 20% of Sachem Capital's market cap. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.
The Bottom Line On Sachem Capital's P/E Ratio
Sachem Capital's P/E is 6.9 which is below average (13.3) in the US market. The debt levels are not a major concern, but the lack of EPS growth is likely weighing on sentiment. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become more pessimistic about Sachem Capital over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 10.5 back then to 6.9 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 should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. 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 Sachem Capital. 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 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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