U.S. Markets close in 6 hrs 3 mins

Is Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited's (HKG:1177) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll show how Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited's (HKG:1177) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Sino Biopharmaceutical's P/E ratio is 13.84. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for Sino Biopharmaceutical

How Do You Calculate Sino Biopharmaceutical's P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Sino Biopharmaceutical:

P/E of 13.84 = HK$10.10 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, CNY ) ÷ HK$0.73 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing 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.

Does Sino Biopharmaceutical Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Sino Biopharmaceutical has a higher P/E than the average company (10.9) in the pharmaceuticals industry.

SEHK:1177 Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 21st 2019

Sino Biopharmaceutical's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. 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.

Sino Biopharmaceutical's earnings made like a rocket, taking off 243% last year. The sweetener is that the annual five year growth rate of 54% is also impressive. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio.

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

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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.

Sino Biopharmaceutical's Balance Sheet

Sino Biopharmaceutical has net cash of CN¥6.9b. That should lead to a higher P/E than if it did have debt, because its strong balance sheets gives it more options.

The Bottom Line On Sino Biopharmaceutical's P/E Ratio

Sino Biopharmaceutical's P/E is 13.8 which is above average (10.3) in its market. Its net cash position is the cherry on top of its superb EPS growth. To us, this is the sort of company that we would expect to carry an above average price tag (relative to earnings).

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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 Sino Biopharmaceutical. 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.