Despite an already strong run, Shimao Services Holdings Limited (HKG:873) shares have been powering on, with a gain of 26% in the last thirty days. Longer-term shareholders would be thankful for the recovery in the share price since it's now virtually flat for the year after the recent bounce.
After such a large jump in price, Shimao Services Holdings' price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 42.9x 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 12x and even P/E's below 6x 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.
Shimao Services Holdings certainly has been doing a good job lately as its earnings growth has been positive while most other companies have been seeing their earnings go backwards. It seems that many are expecting the company to continue defying the broader market adversity, which has increased investors’ willingness to pay up for the stock. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.free report is a great place to start.
Does Growth Match The High P/E?
Shimao Services Holdings' P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's expected to deliver very strong growth, and importantly, perform much better than the market.
Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 66% last year. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 487% overall rise in EPS, aided by its short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably welcomed those medium-term rates of earnings growth.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the ten analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 58% each year over the next three years. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 22% each year growth forecast for the broader market.
In light of this, it's understandable that Shimao Services Holdings' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently shareholders aren't keen to offload something that is potentially eyeing a more prosperous future.
The Final Word
The strong share price surge has got Shimao Services Holdings' P/E rushing to great heights as well. Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.
We've established that Shimao Services Holdings maintains its high P/E on the strength of its forecast growth being higher than the wider market, as expected. Right now shareholders are comfortable with the P/E as they are quite confident future earnings aren't under threat. It's hard to see the share price falling strongly in the near future under these circumstances.
Don't forget that there may be other risks. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Shimao Services Holdings that you should be aware of.
If you're unsure about the strength of Shimao Services Holdings' business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.
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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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