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There wouldn't be many who think Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated's (NASDAQ:SYKE) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 17.7x is worth a mention when the median P/E in the United States is similar at about 19x. Although, it's not wise to simply ignore the P/E without explanation as investors may be disregarding a distinct opportunity or a costly mistake.
Sykes Enterprises certainly has been doing a good job lately as its earnings growth has been positive while most other companies have been seeing their earnings go backwards. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to deteriorate like the rest, which has kept the P/E from rising. If you like the company, you'd be hoping this isn't the case so that you could potentially pick up some stock while it's not quite in favour.
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on Sykes Enterprises.
How Is Sykes Enterprises' Growth Trending?
The only time you'd be comfortable seeing a P/E like Sykes Enterprises' is when the company's growth is tracking the market closely.
Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 48% last year. EPS has also lifted 18% in aggregate from three years ago, mostly thanks to the last 12 months of growth. Therefore, it's fair to say the earnings growth recently has been respectable for the company.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the four analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 12% over the next year. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 3.2% growth forecast for the broader market.
With this information, we find it interesting that Sykes Enterprises is trading at a fairly similar P/E to the market. Apparently some shareholders are skeptical of the forecasts and have been accepting lower selling prices.
The Bottom Line On Sykes Enterprises' P/E
Typically, we'd caution against reading too much into price-to-earnings ratios when settling on investment decisions, though it can reveal plenty about what other market participants think about the company.
Our examination of Sykes Enterprises' analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook isn't contributing to its P/E as much as we would have predicted. There could be some unobserved threats to earnings preventing the P/E ratio from matching the positive outlook. It appears some are indeed anticipating earnings instability, because these conditions should normally provide a boost to the share price.
We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 2 warning signs for Sykes Enterprises that you need to be mindful of.
If you're unsure about the strength of Sykes Enterprises' business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.
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.
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