Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Shaver Shop Group (ASX:SSG) share price has dived 50% in the last thirty days. Even longer term holders have taken a real hit with the stock declining 4.9% in the last year.
Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower share price makes a stock more attractive to potential buyers. 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. So, on certain occasions, long term focussed investors try to take advantage of pessimistic expectations to buy shares at a better price. 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.
How Does Shaver Shop Group's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
Shaver Shop Group's P/E of 5.77 indicates relatively low sentiment towards the stock. If you look at the image below, you can see Shaver Shop Group has a lower P/E than the average (7.3) in the specialty retail industry classification.
Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Shaver Shop Group shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. 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. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
Notably, Shaver Shop Group grew EPS by a whopping 43% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 3 years is 17%. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio. But earnings per share are down 7.5% per year over the last five years.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
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. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
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).
Shaver Shop Group's Balance Sheet
Shaver Shop Group has net cash of AU$8.4m. This is fairly high at 17% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.
The Verdict On Shaver Shop Group's P/E Ratio
Shaver Shop Group trades on a P/E ratio of 5.8, which is below the AU market average of 12.6. Not only should the net cash position reduce risk, but the recent growth has been impressive. One might conclude that the market is a bit pessimistic, given the low P/E ratio. Given Shaver Shop Group's P/E ratio has declined from 11.6 to 5.8 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is more worried about the business today, than it was back then. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might be a bad sign, but for deep value investors this stock might justify some research.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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.
You might be able to find a better buy than Shaver Shop Group. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
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