To the annoyance of some shareholders, Truly International Holdings (HKG:732) shares are down a considerable 34% in the last month. That drop has capped off a tough year for shareholders, with the share price down 39% in that time.
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 Truly International Holdings's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
We can tell from its P/E ratio of 11.10 that there is some investor optimism about Truly International Holdings. The image below shows that Truly International Holdings has a higher P/E than the average (7.7) P/E for companies in the electronic industry.
Truly International Holdings's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
When earnings fall, the 'E' decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others -- and that may encourage shareholders to sell.
In the last year, Truly International Holdings grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 147% gain was both fast and well deserved. Unfortunately, earnings per share are down 31% a year, over 5 years.
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. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.
Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.
Is Debt Impacting Truly International Holdings's P/E?
Truly International Holdings's net debt is considerable, at 196% 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 Truly International Holdings's P/E Ratio
Truly International Holdings has a P/E of 11.1. That's higher than the average in its market, which is 8.6. While its debt levels are rather high, at least its EPS is growing quickly. So despite the debt it is, perhaps, not unreasonable to see a high P/E ratio. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become significantly less optimistic about Truly International Holdings over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 16.9 back then to 11.1 today. For those who don't like to trade against momentum, that could be a warning sign, but a contrarian investor might want to take a closer look.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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 Truly International Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
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