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Should You Be Tempted To Sell Man Wah Holdings Limited (HKG:1999) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Man Wah Holdings Limited's (HKG:1999), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Man Wah Holdings has a P/E ratio of 15.47, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 6.5%.

Check out our latest analysis for Man Wah Holdings

How Do You Calculate Man Wah Holdings's P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Man Wah Holdings:

P/E of 15.47 = HK$5.68 ÷ HK$0.37 (Based on the year to September 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each HK$1 of company earnings. That isn't a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business's prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

How Does Man Wah Holdings's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. As you can see below, Man Wah Holdings has a higher P/E than the average company (13.7) in the consumer durables industry.

SEHK:1999 Price Estimation Relative to Market, November 18th 2019

That means that the market expects Man Wah Holdings will outperform other companies in its industry. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the 'E' in the equation. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

Man Wah Holdings maintained roughly steady earnings over the last twelve months. But it has grown its earnings per share by 6.1% per year over the last five years. And over the longer term (3 years) earnings per share have decreased 3.8% annually. So you wouldn't expect a very high P/E.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet

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

Man Wah Holdings's Balance Sheet

Man Wah Holdings has net debt worth 12% of its market capitalization. This could bring some additional risk, and reduce the number of investment options for management; worth remembering if you compare its P/E to businesses without debt.

The Bottom Line On Man Wah Holdings's P/E Ratio

Man Wah Holdings has a P/E of 15.5. That's higher than the average in its market, which is 10.1. With a bit of debt, but a lack of recent growth, it's safe to say the market is expecting improved profit performance from the company, in the next few years.

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 report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

You might be able to find a better buy than Man Wah 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.