Is China Shanshui Cement Group Limited’s (HKG:691) P/E Ratio Really That Good?

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to China Shanshui Cement Group Limited’s (HKG:691), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, China Shanshui Cement Group’s P/E ratio is 4.7. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying HK$4.7 for every HK$1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for China Shanshui Cement Group

How Do I Calculate China Shanshui Cement Group’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for China Shanshui Cement Group:

P/E of 4.7 = CN¥2.91 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, CNY ) ÷ CN¥0.62 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

China Shanshui Cement Group’s earnings made like a rocket, taking off 248% last year.

Does China Shanshui Cement Group Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that China Shanshui Cement Group has a lower P/E than the average (6.9) P/E for companies in the basic materials industry.

SEHK:691 Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 22nd 2019
SEHK:691 Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 22nd 2019

This suggests that market participants think China Shanshui Cement Group will underperform other companies in its industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

Is Debt Impacting China Shanshui Cement Group’s P/E?

Net debt totals 56% of China Shanshui Cement Group’s market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Bottom Line On China Shanshui Cement Group’s P/E Ratio

China Shanshui Cement Group trades on a P/E ratio of 4.7, which is below the HK market average of 12. The company has a meaningful amount of debt on the balance sheet, but that should not eclipse the solid earnings growth. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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 modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.