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Should You Be Tempted To Buy China Biologic Products Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CBPO) Because Of Its PE Ratio?

Terrence Jolly

China Biologic Products Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CBPO) trades with a trailing P/E of 19.9x, which is lower than the industry average of 29.5x. While CBPO might seem like an attractive stock to buy, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before you make any investment decisions. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it. See our latest analysis for China Biologic Products Holdings

Breaking down the P/E ratio

NasdaqGS:CBPO PE PEG Gauge Dec 23rd 17

A common ratio used for relative valuation is the P/E ratio. It compares a stock’s price per share to the stock’s earnings per share. A more intuitive way of understanding the P/E ratio is to think of it as how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for CBPO

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

CBPO Price-Earnings Ratio = $79.81 ÷ $4.002 = 19.9x

On its own, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell you much; however, it becomes extremely useful when you compare it with other similar companies. We want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar characteristics as CBPO, such as size and country of operation. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. CBPO’s P/E of 19.9x is lower than its industry peers (29.5x), which implies that each dollar of CBPO’s earnings is being undervalued by investors. Therefore, according to this analysis, CBPO is an under-priced stock.

Assumptions to be aware of

While our conclusion might prompt you to buy CBPO immediately, there are two important assumptions you should be aware of. Firstly, our peer group contains companies that are similar to CBPO. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, if you are comparing lower risk firms with CBPO, then its P/E would naturally be lower than its peers, as investors would value those with lower risk at a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing CBPO to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold, there is a possibility that CBPO’s P/E is lower because our peer group is overvalued by the market.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? Since you may have already conducted your due diligence on CBPO, the undervaluation of the stock may mean it is a good time to top up on your current holdings. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that relative valuation relies heavily on critical assumptions I’ve outlined above.

Are you a potential investor? If CBPO has been on your watch list for a while, it is best you also consider its intrinsic valuation. Looking at PE on its own will not give you the full picture of the stock as an investment, so I suggest you should also look at other relative valuation metrics like EV/EBITDA or PEG.

PE is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on China Biologic Products Holdings for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. Since we know a limitation of PE is it doesn’t properly account for growth, you can use our free platform to see my list of stocks with a high growth potential and see if their PE is still reasonable.


To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.