When close to half the companies in Brazil have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") below 9x, you may consider GPS Participações e Empreendimentos S.A. (BVMF:GGPS3) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 28.3x P/E ratio. However, the P/E might be quite high for a reason and it requires further investigation to determine if it's justified.
GPS Participações e Empreendimentos hasn't been tracking well recently as its declining earnings compare poorly to other companies, which have seen some growth on average. It might be that many expect the dour earnings performance to recover substantially, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. If not, then existing shareholders may be extremely nervous about the viability of the share price.free report on GPS Participações e Empreendimentos will help you uncover what's on the horizon.
What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The High P/E?
GPS Participações e Empreendimentos' 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, the company's earnings per share growth last year wasn't something to get excited about as it posted a disappointing decline of 22%. This means it has also seen a slide in earnings over the longer-term as EPS is down 98% in total over the last three years. So unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the company has not done a great job of growing earnings over that time.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the eight analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 98% over the next year. That's not great when the rest of the market is expected to grow by 13%.
In light of this, it's alarming that GPS Participações e Empreendimentos' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects, but the analyst cohort is not so confident this will happen. There's a very good chance these shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the negative growth outlook.
The Bottom Line On GPS Participações e Empreendimentos' P/E
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.
We've established that GPS Participações e Empreendimentos currently trades on a much higher than expected P/E for a company whose earnings are forecast to decline. When we see a poor outlook with earnings heading backwards, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. Unless these conditions improve markedly, it's very challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.
Before you take the next step, you should know about the 1 warning sign for GPS Participações e Empreendimentos that we have uncovered.
You might be able to find a better investment than GPS Participações e Empreendimentos. 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).
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.