To the annoyance of some shareholders, UMT United Mobility Technology (ETR:UMD) shares are down a considerable 43% in the last month. And that drop will have no doubt have some shareholders concerned that the 83% 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. 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. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock 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 UMT United Mobility Technology's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
UMT United Mobility Technology has a P/E ratio of 37.30. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (37.3) for companies in the software industry is roughly the same as UMT United Mobility Technology's P/E.
That indicates that the market expects UMT United Mobility Technology will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. I would further inform my view by checking insider buying and selling., among other things.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
UMT United Mobility Technology's earnings per share fell by 64% in the last twelve months. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 8.0% per year over the last five years. This could justify a pessimistic P/E.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. 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).
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).
UMT United Mobility Technology's Balance Sheet
With net cash of €1.4m, UMT United Mobility Technology has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 30% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.
The Bottom Line On UMT United Mobility Technology's P/E Ratio
UMT United Mobility Technology trades on a P/E ratio of 37.3, which is above its market average of 20.3. The recent drop in earnings per share would make some investors cautious, but the healthy balance sheet means the company retains potential for future growth. If fails to eventuate, the current high P/E could prove to be temporary, as the share price falls. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become significantly less optimistic about UMT United Mobility Technology over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 65.0 back then to 37.3 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.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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.
But note: UMT United Mobility Technology 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).
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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. Thank you for reading.