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Is Ur-Energy Inc’s (TSE:URE) PE Ratio A Signal To Sell For Investors?

Gavin Beck

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to start learning about core concepts of fundamental analysis on practical examples from today’s market.

Ur-Energy Inc (TSE:URE) is currently trading at a trailing P/E of 43.8, which is higher than the industry average of 21. Though this might seem to be a negative, you might change your mind after I explain the assumptions behind the P/E ratio. In this article, I will deconstruct the P/E ratio and highlight what you need to be careful of when using the P/E ratio.

View our latest analysis for Ur-Energy

Breaking down the Price-Earnings ratio

TSX:URE PE PEG Gauge September 7th 18

P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. 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 URE

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

URE Price-Earnings Ratio = $0.77 ÷ $0.0176 = 43.8x

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 URE, 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. At 43.8, URE’s P/E is higher than its industry peers (21). This implies that investors are overvaluing each dollar of URE’s earnings. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 Oil and Gas companies in CA including McChip Resources, Pinedale Energy and Greencastle Resources. You could also say that the market is suggesting that URE is a stronger business than the average comparable company.

Assumptions to watch out for

However, you should be aware that this analysis makes certain assumptions. Firstly, that our peer group contains companies that are similar to URE. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, Ur-Energy Inc could be growing more quickly than the companies we’re comparing it with. In that case it would deserve a higher P/E ratio. We should also be aware that the stocks we are comparing to URE may not be fairly valued. Just because it is trading on a higher P/E ratio than its peers does not mean it must be overvalued. After all, the peer group could be undervalued.

What this means for you:

If your personal research into the stock confirms what the P/E ratio is telling you, it might be a good time to rebalance your portfolio and reduce your holdings in URE. But keep in mind that the usefulness of relative valuation depends on whether you are comfortable with making the assumptions I mentioned above. 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 urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for URE’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for URE’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has URE 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 URE’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 past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.