Stock Analysis

MECOM Power and Construction Limited's (HKG:1183) Shareholders Might Be Looking For Exit

SEHK:1183
Source: Shutterstock

MECOM Power and Construction Limited's (HKG:1183) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 20.3x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in Hong Kong, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 8x and even P/E's below 4x are quite common. 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 MECOM Power and Construction 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.

See our latest analysis for MECOM Power and Construction

pe-multiple-vs-industry
SEHK:1183 Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry December 21st 2023
Although there are no analyst estimates available for MECOM Power and Construction, take a look at this free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Is There Enough Growth For MECOM Power and Construction?

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

If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 50%. As a result, earnings from three years ago have also fallen 3.0% overall. Accordingly, shareholders would have felt downbeat about the medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Weighing that medium-term earnings trajectory against the broader market's one-year forecast for expansion of 23% shows it's an unpleasant look.

In light of this, it's alarming that MECOM Power and Construction'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 very good chance existing shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the recent negative growth rates.

The Key Takeaway

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 MECOM Power and Construction revealed its shrinking earnings over the medium-term aren't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted, given the market is set to grow. When we see earnings heading backwards and underperforming the market forecasts, 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.

Having said that, be aware MECOM Power and Construction is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those doesn't sit too well with us.

If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on MECOM Power and Construction, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.

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

Find out whether MECOM Power and Construction 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.

View the Free Analysis

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.