The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Asia Orient Holdings Limited's (HKG:214), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Asia Orient Holdings's P/E ratio is 1.33. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 75.4%.
How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Asia Orient Holdings:
P/E of 1.33 = HK$1.140 ÷ HK$0.860 (Based on the year to September 2019.)
(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.
Does Asia Orient Holdings Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Asia Orient Holdings has a lower P/E than the average (6.7) P/E for companies in the real estate industry.
Asia Orient Holdings's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
When earnings fall, the 'E' decreases, over time. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.
Asia Orient Holdings's earnings per share grew by -7.9% in the last twelve months. But earnings per share are down 12% per year over the last three years.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. 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.
While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Asia Orient Holdings's Balance Sheet
Asia Orient Holdings has net cash of HK$467m. This is fairly high at 49% 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 Bottom Line On Asia Orient Holdings's P/E Ratio
Asia Orient Holdings has a P/E of 1.3. That's below the average in the HK market, which is 9.7. Recent earnings growth wasn't bad. And the net cash position gives the company many options. So it's strange that the low P/E indicates low expectations.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. Although we don't have analyst forecasts you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Asia Orient Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.