Mayfield Group Holdings Limited's (ASX:MYG) Business Is Trailing The Market But Its Shares Aren't
Mayfield Group Holdings Limited's (ASX:MYG) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 42.6x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in Australia, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 18x and even P/E's below 9x are quite common. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.
For instance, Mayfield Group Holdings' receding earnings in recent times would have to be some food for thought. One possibility is that the P/E is high because investors think the company will still do enough to outperform the broader market in the near future. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.
See our latest analysis for Mayfield Group Holdings
Although there are no analyst estimates available for Mayfield Group Holdings, take a look at this free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Does Growth Match The High P/E?
Mayfield Group 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.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 72% decrease to the company's bottom line. This means it has also seen a slide in earnings over the longer-term as EPS is down 100% in total over the last three years. So unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the company has not done a great job of growing earnings over that time.
In contrast to the company, the rest of the market is expected to grow by 15% over the next year, which really puts the company's recent medium-term earnings decline into perspective.
In light of this, it's alarming that Mayfield Group Holdings' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are ignoring the recent poor growth rate and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. There's a very good chance existing shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the recent negative growth rates.
What We Can Learn From Mayfield Group Holdings' P/E?
We'd say the price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.
We've established that Mayfield Group Holdings currently trades on a much higher than expected P/E since its recent earnings have been in decline over the medium-term. When we see earnings heading backwards and underperforming the market forecasts, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it will place shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.
Before you take the next step, you should know about the 4 warning signs for Mayfield Group Holdings (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that we have uncovered.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with a strong growth track record, trading on a P/E below 20x.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.