Globe International (ASX:GLB) shareholders are no doubt pleased to see that the share price has had a great month, posting a 30% gain, recovering from prior weakness. But shareholders may not all be feeling jubilant, since the share price is still down 25% in the last year.
All else being equal, a sharp share price increase should make a stock less attractive to potential investors. In the long term, share prices tend to follow earnings per share, but in the short term prices bounce around in response to short term factors (which are not always obvious). The implication here is that deep value investors might steer clear when expectations of a company are too high. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). Investors have optimistic expectations of companies with higher P/E ratios, compared to companies with lower P/E ratios.
How Does Globe International's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
Globe International's P/E of 8.70 indicates relatively low sentiment towards the stock. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (13.6) for companies in the luxury industry is higher than Globe International's P/E.
Globe International's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
Globe International saw earnings per share decrease by 2.9% last year. But it has grown its earnings per share by 20% per year over the last three years.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).
While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Globe International's Balance Sheet
With net cash of AU$7.9m, Globe International has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 12% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.
The Bottom Line On Globe International's P/E Ratio
Globe International has a P/E of 8.7. That's below the average in the AU market, which is 18.7. The recent drop in earnings per share would almost certainly temper expectations, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: if so, the low P/E could be an opportunity. What is very clear is that the market has become less pessimistic about Globe International over the last month, with the P/E ratio rising from 6.7 back then to 8.7 today. For those who like to invest in turnarounds, that might mean it's time to put the stock on a watchlist, or research it. But others might consider the opportunity to have passed.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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. We don't have analyst forecasts, but shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: Globe International 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).
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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