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Why Investors Shouldn't Be Surprised By Limbach Holdings, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:LMB) P/E

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With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 68.3x Limbach Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LMB) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios under 19x and even P/E's lower than 10x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Limbach Holdings has been doing quite well of late. The P/E is probably high because investors think the company will continue to navigate the broader market headwinds better than most. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

View our latest analysis for Limbach Holdings

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If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on Limbach Holdings.

How Is Limbach Holdings' Growth Trending?

Limbach Holdings' P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's expected to deliver very strong growth, and importantly, perform much better than the market.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 28% last year. Although, its longer-term performance hasn't been as strong with three-year EPS growth being relatively non-existent overall. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.

Turning to the outlook, the next year should generate growth of 269% as estimated by the dual analysts watching the company. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 4.2% growth forecast for the broader market.

In light of this, it's understandable that Limbach Holdings' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are expecting this strong future growth and are willing to pay more for the stock.

The Key Takeaway

While the price-to-earnings ratio shouldn't be the defining factor in whether you buy a stock or not, it's quite a capable barometer of earnings expectations.

As we suspected, our examination of Limbach Holdings' analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook is contributing to its high P/E. At this stage investors feel the potential for a deterioration in earnings isn't great enough to justify a lower P/E ratio. It's hard to see the share price falling strongly in the near future under these circumstances.

Don't forget that there may be other risks. For instance, we've identified 5 warning signs for Limbach Holdings (1 is potentially serious) you should be aware of.

It's important to make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20x).

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.