Stock Analysis

Improved Earnings Required Before China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd (SHSE:601098) Shares Find Their Feet

SHSE:601098
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China South Publishing & Media Group Co., Ltd's (SHSE:601098) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 12.6x might make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the market in China, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios above 32x and even P/E's above 59x are quite common. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly reduced P/E.

Recent times have been pleasing for China South Publishing & Media Group as its earnings have risen in spite of the market's earnings going into reverse. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to degrade substantially, possibly more than the market, which has repressed the P/E. If not, then existing shareholders have reason to be quite optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for China South Publishing & Media Group

pe-multiple-vs-industry
SHSE:601098 Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry March 19th 2024
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on China South Publishing & Media Group.

Is There Any Growth For China South Publishing & Media Group?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as depressed as China South Publishing & Media Group's is when the company's growth is on track to lag the market decidedly.

If we review the last year of earnings growth, the company posted a terrific increase of 31%. As a result, it also grew EPS by 28% in total over the last three years. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably been satisfied with the medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the seven analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 1.1% over the next year. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 40%, which paints a poor picture.

With this information, we are not surprised that China South Publishing & Media Group 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. There's potential for the P/E to fall to even lower levels if the company doesn't improve its profitability.

What We Can Learn From China South Publishing & Media Group's P/E?

We'd say the price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.

As we suspected, our examination of China South Publishing & Media Group'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.

The company's balance sheet is another key area for risk analysis. You can assess many of the main risks through our free balance sheet analysis for China South Publishing & Media Group with six simple checks.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with a strong growth track record, trading on a low P/E.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether China South Publishing & Media Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.