To the annoyance of some shareholders, Neuland Laboratories (NSE:NEULANDLAB) shares are down a considerable 37% in the last month. Indeed the recent decline has arguably caused some bitterness for shareholders who have held through the 56% drop over twelve months.
All else being equal, a share price drop should make a stock more attractive to potential investors. While the market sentiment towards a stock is very changeable, in the long run, the share price will tend to move in the same direction as earnings per share. The implication here is that long term investors have an opportunity when expectations of a company are too low. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E implies that investors have high expectations of what a company can achieve compared to a company with a low P/E ratio.
How Does Neuland Laboratories’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
Neuland Laboratories’s P/E is 12.33. As you can see below Neuland Laboratories has a P/E ratio that is fairly close for the average for the pharmaceuticals industry, which is 12.9.
That indicates that the market expects Neuland Laboratories will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. So if Neuland Laboratories actually outperforms its peers going forward, that should be a positive for the share price. Checking factors such as director buying and selling. could help you form your own view on if that will happen.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the ‘E’ in the equation. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.
Neuland Laboratories’s earnings made like a rocket, taking off 100% last year. Regrettably, the longer term performance is poor, with EPS down -6.1% per year over 3 years.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.
Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.
Is Debt Impacting Neuland Laboratories’s P/E?
Neuland Laboratories’s net debt equates to 33% of its market capitalization. You’d want to be aware of this fact, but it doesn’t bother us.
The Verdict On Neuland Laboratories’s P/E Ratio
Neuland Laboratories trades on a P/E ratio of 12.3, which is above its market average of 10.9. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and its EPS growth is very healthy indeed. So to be frank we are not surprised it has a high P/E ratio. Given Neuland Laboratories’s P/E ratio has declined from 19.6 to 12.3 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is significantly less confident about the business today, than it was back then. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might be a bad sign, but for a contrarian, it may signal opportunity.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.
You might be able to find a better buy than Neuland Laboratories. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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