Does Tartisan Nickel Corp’s (CNSX:TN) PE Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to begin learning about how to value company based on its current earnings and what are the drawbacks of this method.

Tartisan Nickel Corp (CNSX:TN) trades with a trailing P/E of 4.9x, which is lower than the industry average of 10.8x. While this makes TN appear like a great stock to buy, you might change your mind after I explain the assumptions behind the P/E ratio. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it.

What you need to know about the P/E ratio

The P/E ratio is a popular ratio used in relative valuation since earnings power is a key driver of investment value. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

Formula

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

P/E Calculation for TN

Price per share = CA\$0.065

Earnings per share = CA\$0.0133

∴ Price-Earnings Ratio = CA\$0.065 ÷ CA\$0.0133 = 4.9x

The P/E ratio isn’t a metric you view in isolation and only becomes useful when you compare it against other similar companies. Ultimately, our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to TN, such as company lifetime and products sold. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. Since similar companies should technically have similar P/E ratios, we can very quickly come to some conclusions about the stock if the ratios differ.

TN’s P/E of 4.9x is lower than its industry peers (10.8x), which implies that each dollar of TN’s earnings is being undervalued by investors. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 Metals and Mining companies in CA including Winston Resources, Sherritt International and New World Resource. Therefore, according to this analysis, TN is an under-priced stock.

A few caveats

However, before you rush out to buy TN, it is important to note that this conclusion is based on two key assumptions. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to TN. If the companies aren’t similar, the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if you are inadvertently comparing lower risk firms with TN, then TN’s P/E would naturally be lower than its peers, since investors would value those with lower risk with a higher price. The other possibility is if you were accidentally comparing higher growth firms with TN. In this case, TN’s P/E would be lower since investors would also reward its peers’ higher growth with a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing TN to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold, there is a possibility that TN’s P/E is lower because firms in our peer group are being overvalued by the market.

What this means for you:

If your personal research into the stock confirms what the P/E ratio is telling you, it might be a good time to add more of TN to your portfolio. But keep in mind that the usefulness of relative valuation depends on whether you are comfortable with making the assumptions I mentioned above. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for TN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TN’s outlook.
2. Past Track Record: Has TN been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of TN’s historicals for more clarity.
3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.