Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Plover Bay Technologies Limited (HKG:1523) Still Undervalued?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Plover Bay Technologies Limited’s (HKG:1523) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Plover Bay Technologies has a P/E ratio of 17.62, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for Plover Bay Technologies

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Plover Bay Technologies:

P/E of 17.62 = $0.18 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, USD ) ÷ $0.010 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each HK$1 the company has earned over the last year. That isn’t a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business’s prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. 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.

It’s great to see that Plover Bay Technologies grew EPS by 20% in the last year.

How Does Plover Bay Technologies’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (13.6) for companies in the communications industry is lower than Plover Bay Technologies’s P/E.

SEHK:1523 Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 8th 2019
SEHK:1523 Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 8th 2019

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Plover Bay Technologies shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

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

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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 Plover Bay Technologies’s P/E?

The extra options and safety that comes with Plover Bay Technologies’s US$26m net cash position means that it deserves a higher P/E than it would if it had a lot of net debt.

The Verdict On Plover Bay Technologies’s P/E Ratio

Plover Bay Technologies’s P/E is 17.6 which is above average (10.9) in the HK market. With cash in the bank the company has plenty of growth options — and it is already on the right track. Therefore it seems reasonable that the market would have relatively high expectations of the company

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

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.