With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 24.5x NTR Holding A/S (CPH:NTR B) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in Denmark have P/E ratios under 16x and even P/E's lower than 8x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.
As an illustration, earnings have deteriorated at NTR Holding over the last year, which is not ideal at all. One possibility is that the P/E is high because investors think the company will still do enough to outperform the broader market in the near future. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Is There Enough Growth For NTR Holding?
There's an inherent assumption that a company should far outperform the market for P/E ratios like NTR Holding's to be considered reasonable.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 45% decrease to the company's bottom line. This has erased any of its gains during the last three years, with practically no change in EPS being achieved in total. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.
Comparing that to the market, which is predicted to deliver 12% growth in the next 12 months, the company's momentum is weaker based on recent medium-term annualised earnings results.
In light of this, it's alarming that NTR Holding's P/E sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently many investors in the company are way more bullish than recent times would indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock at any price. There's a good chance existing shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with recent growth rates.
What We Can Learn From NTR Holding's P/E?
Using the price-to-earnings ratio alone to determine if you should sell your stock isn't sensible, however it can be a practical guide to the company's future prospects.
Our examination of NTR Holding revealed its three-year earnings trends aren't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted, given they look worse than current market expectations. When we see weak earnings with slower than market growth, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it will place shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.
You should always think about risks. Case in point, we've spotted 3 warning signs for NTR Holding you should be aware of.
If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly and trade on P/E's below 20x.
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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. 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.
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