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Should You Be Tempted To Sell Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (NASDAQ:SHEN) At Its Current PE Ratio?

Ashwin Virk

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to begin learning the link between Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (NASDAQ:SHEN)’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (NASDAQ:SHEN) is trading with a trailing P/E of 24.3x, which is higher than the industry average of 16.3x. Although some investors may jump to the conclusion that you should avoid the stock or sell if you own it, understanding the assumptions behind the P/E ratio might change your mind. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it. Check out our latest analysis for Shenandoah Telecommunications

Demystifying the P/E ratio

NasdaqGS:SHEN PE PEG Gauge June 22nd 18

The P/E ratio is one of many ratios used in relative valuation. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for SHEN

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

SHEN Price-Earnings Ratio = $34.05 ÷ $1.398 = 24.3x

The P/E ratio itself doesn’t tell you a lot; however, it becomes very insightful when you compare it with other similar companies. We preferably want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar features to SHEN, such as capital structure and profitability. A common peer group is companies that exist in the same industry, which is what I use. At 24.3x, SHEN’s P/E is higher than its industry peers (16.3x). This implies that investors are overvaluing each dollar of SHEN’s earnings. Therefore, according to this analysis, SHEN is an over-priced stock.

Assumptions to watch out for

Before you jump to the conclusion that SHEN should be banished from your portfolio, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to SHEN, or else the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if you are comparing lower risk firms with SHEN, 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 SHEN to are fairly valued by the market. If this is violated, SHEN’s P/E may be lower than its peers as they are actually overvalued by investors.

What this means for you:

You may have already conducted fundamental analysis on the stock as a shareholder, so its current overvaluation could signal a potential selling opportunity to reduce your exposure to SHEN. Now that you understand the ins and outs of the PE metric, you should know to bear in mind its limitations before you make an investment decision. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SHEN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SHEN’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SHEN been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of SHEN’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.