Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Samsonite International (HKG:1910) share price has dived 64% in the last thirty days. And that drop will have no doubt have some shareholders concerned that the 76% share price decline, over the last year, has turned them into bagholders. What is a bagholder? It is a shareholder who has suffered a bad loss, but continues to hold indefinitely, without questioning their reasons for holding, even as the losses grow greater.
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. 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 implies that investors have high expectations of what a company can achieve compared to a company with a low P/E ratio.
Does Samsonite International Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
We can tell from its P/E ratio of 5.48 that sentiment around Samsonite International isn't particularly high. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (7.0) for companies in the luxury industry is higher than Samsonite International's P/E.
Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Samsonite International shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Since the market seems unimpressed with Samsonite International, 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
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.
Samsonite International's earnings per share fell by 42% in the last twelve months. But EPS is up 5.6% over the last 3 years.
A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank
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.
How Does Samsonite International's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?
Samsonite International's net debt is considerable, at 122% 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 Bottom Line On Samsonite International's P/E Ratio
Samsonite International's P/E is 5.5 which is below average (8.6) in the HK market. The P/E reflects market pessimism that probably arises from the lack of recent EPS growth, paired with significant leverage. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become more pessimistic about Samsonite International over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 15.3 back then to 5.5 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.
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 visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
But note: Samsonite International 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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