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Is Network International Holdings plc's (LON:NETW) P/E Ratio Really That Good?

Simply Wall St

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 Network International Holdings plc's (LON:NETW), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Network International Holdings has a P/E ratio of 0.12, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay £0.12 for every £1 in trailing yearly profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Network International Holdings

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Network International Holdings:

P/E of 0.12 = $7.23 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, USD ) ÷ $60.27 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. All else being equal, it's better to pay a low price -- but as Warren Buffett said, 'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.'

Does Network International Holdings Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

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 Network International Holdings has a lower P/E than the average (26.3) in the it industry classification.

LSE:NETW Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 25th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Network International Holdings shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Since the market seems unimpressed with Network International Holdings, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the 'E' will be lower. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Network International Holdings saw earnings per share decrease by 54% last year. And EPS is down 11% a year, over the last 5 years. This might lead to muted expectations.

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

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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.

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.

Is Debt Impacting Network International Holdings's P/E?

Network International Holdings has net debt worth 10% of its market capitalization. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.

The Bottom Line On Network International Holdings's P/E Ratio

Network International Holdings has a P/E of 0.1. That's below the average in the GB market, which is 15.8. The debt levels are not a major concern, but the lack of EPS growth is likely weighing on sentiment.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

You might be able to find a better buy than Network International Holdings. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.