This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to TBK & Sons Holdings Limited's (HKG:1960), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. TBK & Sons Holdings has a P/E ratio of 5.18, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 19.3%.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for price to earnings is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share (in the reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for TBK & Sons Holdings:
P/E of 5.18 = HK$0.11 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, MYR ) ÷ HK$0.02 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each HK$1 of company 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 TBK & Sons 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. If you look at the image below, you can see TBK & Sons Holdings has a lower P/E than the average (9.0) in the energy services industry classification.
TBK & Sons Holdings's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with TBK & Sons Holdings, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
TBK & Sons Holdings saw earnings per share decrease by 11% last year.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet
It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
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.
TBK & Sons Holdings's Balance Sheet
The extra options and safety that comes with TBK & Sons Holdings's RM6.3m net cash position means that it deserves a higher P/E than it would if it had a lot of net debt.
The Bottom Line On TBK & Sons Holdings's P/E Ratio
TBK & Sons Holdings trades on a P/E ratio of 5.2, which is below the HK market average of 10.5. The recent drop in earnings per share would almost certainly temper expectations, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: if so, the low P/E could be an opportunity.
Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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. We don't have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: TBK & Sons Holdings 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).
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.