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Generac Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:GNRC) Share Price Not Quite Adding Up

Simply Wall St
·3 min read

Generac Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:GNRC) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 36.8x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 17x and even P/E's below 9x are quite common. However, the P/E might be quite high for a reason and it requires further investigation to determine if it's justified.

Recent times have been pleasing for Generac Holdings as its earnings have risen in spite of the market's earnings going into reverse. It seems that many are expecting the company to continue defying the broader market adversity, which has increased investors’ willingness to pay up for the stock. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.

View our latest analysis for Generac Holdings

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Keen to find out how analysts think Generac Holdings' future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The High P/E?

Generac Holdings' P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's expected to deliver very strong growth, and importantly, perform much better than the market.

Taking a look back first, we see that there was hardly any earnings per share growth to speak of for the company over the past year. Although pleasingly EPS has lifted 141% in aggregate from three years ago, notwithstanding the last 12 months. So we can start by confirming that the company has done a great job of growing earnings over that time.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the twelve analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 11% each year over the next three years. With the market predicted to deliver 11% growth each year, the company is positioned for a comparable earnings result.

In light of this, it's curious that Generac Holdings' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly average growth expectations and are willing to pay up for exposure to the stock. These shareholders may be setting themselves up for disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the growth outlook.

The Final Word

It's argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.

We've established that Generac Holdings currently trades on a higher than expected P/E since its forecast growth is only in line with the wider market. Right now we are uncomfortable with the relatively high share price as the predicted future earnings aren't likely to support such positive sentiment for long. This places shareholders' investments at risk and potential investors in danger of paying an unnecessary premium.

There are also other vital risk factors to consider before investing and we've discovered 3 warning signs for Generac Holdings that you should be aware of.

If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on Generac Holdings, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.