Yellow Cake plc's (LON:YCA) Share Price Is Matching Sentiment Around Its Earnings
When close to half the companies in the United Kingdom have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") above 14x, you may consider Yellow Cake plc (LON:YCA) as an attractive investment with its 7.7x P/E ratio. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's limited.
While the market has experienced earnings growth lately, Yellow Cake's earnings have gone into reverse gear, which is not great. The P/E is probably low because investors think this poor earnings performance isn't going to get any better. If this is the case, then existing shareholders will probably struggle to get excited about the future direction of the share price.
See our latest analysis for Yellow Cake
Keen to find out how analysts think Yellow Cake's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.
Is There Any Growth For Yellow Cake?
The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as low as Yellow Cake's is when the company's growth is on track to lag the market.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 63% decrease to the company's bottom line. At least EPS has managed not to go completely backwards from three years ago in aggregate, thanks to the earlier period of growth. So it appears to us that the company has had a mixed result in terms of growing earnings over that time.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the lone analyst covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 43% over the next year. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 5.5%, which paints a poor picture.
In light of this, it's understandable that Yellow Cake's P/E would sit below the majority of other companies. However, shrinking earnings are unlikely to lead to a stable P/E over the longer term. There's potential for the P/E to fall to even lower levels if the company doesn't improve its profitability.
The Final Word
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 Yellow Cake's analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings is contributing to its low P/E. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in earnings isn't great enough to justify a higher P/E ratio. Unless these conditions improve, they will continue to form a barrier for the share price around these levels.
You always need to take note of risks, for example - Yellow Cake has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
You might be able to find a better investment than Yellow Cake. If you want a selection of possible candidates, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20x (but have proven they can grow earnings).
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
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