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Do You Know What Asia Standard International Group Limited's (HKG:129) P/E Ratio Means?

Simply Wall St

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll show how you can use Asia Standard International Group Limited's (HKG:129) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Asia Standard International Group has a P/E ratio of 1.20, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 83.5%.

Check out our latest analysis for Asia Standard International Group

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Asia Standard International Group:

P/E of 1.20 = HK$1.26 ÷ HK$1.05 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 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.

How Does Asia Standard International Group's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. If you look at the image below, you can see Asia Standard International Group has a lower P/E than the average (6.1) in the real estate industry classification.

SEHK:129 Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 8th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Asia Standard International Group shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. 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

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.

Asia Standard International Group's earnings per share fell by 5.1% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (3 years), earnings per share have increased by 23%. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 1.3% per year over the last five years. So it would be surprising to see a high P/E.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

So What Does Asia Standard International Group's Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Asia Standard International Group's net debt equates to 44% of its market capitalization. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Verdict On Asia Standard International Group's P/E Ratio

Asia Standard International Group's P/E is 1.2 which is below average (10.3) in the HK market. The debt levels are not a major concern, but the lack of EPS growth is likely weighing on sentiment.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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 shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Asia Standard International Group 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).

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.