Some Shareholders Feeling Restless Over HelloFresh SE's (ETR:HFG) P/E Ratio

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 18, 2021
XTRA:HFG
Source: Shutterstock

When close to half the companies in Germany have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") below 24x, you may consider HelloFresh SE (ETR:HFG) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 39.8x P/E ratio. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.

Recent times have been advantageous for HelloFresh as its earnings have been rising faster than most other companies. The P/E is probably high because investors think this strong earnings performance will continue. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

See our latest analysis for HelloFresh

pe
XTRA:HFG Price Based on Past Earnings August 19th 2021
Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on HelloFresh will help you uncover what's on the horizon.

Is There Enough Growth For HelloFresh?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as steep as HelloFresh's is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the market decidedly.

If we review the last year of earnings growth, the company posted a terrific increase of 94%. Still, EPS has barely risen at all from three years ago in total, which is not ideal. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.

Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to climb by 2.4% per annum during the coming three years according to the analysts following the company. That's shaping up to be materially lower than the 19% per year growth forecast for the broader market.

With this information, we find it concerning that HelloFresh is trading at a P/E higher than the market. Apparently many investors in the company are way more bullish than analysts indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock at any price. There's a good chance these shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the growth outlook.

The Key Takeaway

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.

We've established that HelloFresh currently trades on a much higher than expected P/E since its forecast growth is lower than the wider market. Right now we are increasingly uncomfortable with the high P/E as the predicted future earnings aren't likely to support such positive sentiment for long. This places shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with HelloFresh, and understanding should be part of your investment process.

If you're unsure about the strength of HelloFresh's business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.

If you decide to trade HelloFresh, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account. Promoted


Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.