Questor Technology Inc.’s (CVE:QST) price-to-earnings (or “P/E”) ratio of 6.4x might make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the market in Canada, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios above 15x and even P/E’s above 39x are quite common. Although, it’s not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it’s so limited.
Questor Technology hasn’t been tracking well recently as its declining earnings compare poorly to other companies, which have seen some growth on average. 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.free report on Questor Technology will help you uncover what’s on the horizon.
What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The Low P/E?
In order to justify its P/E ratio, Questor Technology would need to produce anemic growth that’s substantially trailing the market.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 16% 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. Therefore, it’s fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.
Turning to the outlook, the next three years should bring diminished returns, with earnings decreasing 23% each year as estimated by the five analysts watching the company. With the market predicted to deliver 29% growth per annum, that’s a disappointing outcome.
With this information, we are not surprised that Questor Technology is trading at a P/E lower than the market. Nonetheless, there’s no guarantee the P/E has reached a floor yet with earnings going in reverse. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as the weak outlook is weighing down the shares.
The Final Word
It’s argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.
As we suspected, our examination of Questor Technology’s analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings is contributing to its low P/E. Right now shareholders are accepting the low P/E as they concede future earnings probably won’t provide any pleasant surprises. Unless these conditions improve, they will continue to form a barrier for the share price around these levels.
We don’t want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 3 warning signs for Questor Technology (1 can’t be ignored!) that you need to be mindful 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).
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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.
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