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Pinning Down LeMaitre Vascular, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:LMAT) P/E Is Difficult Right Now

Simply Wall St
·3 min read

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 38.9x LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. (NASDAQ:LMAT) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios under 17x and even P/E's lower than 9x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

With earnings that are retreating more than the market's of late, LeMaitre Vascular has been very sluggish. It might be that many expect the dismal earnings performance to recover substantially, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. If not, then existing shareholders may be very nervous about the viability of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for LeMaitre Vascular

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Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on LeMaitre Vascular will help you uncover what's on the horizon.

Is There Enough Growth For LeMaitre Vascular?

LeMaitre Vascular's 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.

If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 13%. This has soured the latest three-year period, which nevertheless managed to deliver a decent 12% overall rise in EPS. Accordingly, while they would have preferred to keep the run going, shareholders would be roughly satisfied with the medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the five analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 12% per annum over the next three years. With the market predicted to deliver 11% growth per year, the company is positioned for a comparable earnings result.

With this information, we find it interesting that LeMaitre Vascular is trading at a high P/E compared to the market. Apparently many investors in the company are more bullish than analysts indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock right now. Although, additional gains will be difficult to achieve as this level of earnings growth is likely to weigh down the share price eventually.

The Bottom Line On LeMaitre Vascular's P/E

Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

We've established that LeMaitre Vascular currently trades on a higher than expected P/E since its forecast growth is only in line with the wider market. When we see an average earnings outlook with market-like growth, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. Unless these conditions improve, it's challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

And what about other risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for LeMaitre Vascular you should know about.

If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly and trade on P/E's below 20x.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.