This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Camsing International Holding Limited’s (HKG:2662) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Camsing International Holding has a price to earnings ratio of 76, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying HK$76 for every HK$1 in prior year profit.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Camsing International Holding:
P/E of 76 = HK$8.28 ÷ HK$0.11 (Based on the year to June 2018.)
Is A High P/E 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 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
Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.
Camsing International Holding increased earnings per share by a whopping 166% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 59% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.
How Does Camsing International Holding’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Camsing International Holding has a much higher P/E than the average company (8) in the electronic industry.
Camsing International Holding’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. 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
The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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 Camsing International Holding’s P/E?
Since Camsing International Holding holds net cash of HK$21m, it can spend on growth, justifying a higher P/E ratio than otherwise.
The Bottom Line On Camsing International Holding’s P/E Ratio
Camsing International Holding trades on a P/E ratio of 76, which is multiples above the HK market average of 10.3. With cash in the bank the company has plenty of growth options — and it is already on the right track. So it is not surprising the market is probably extrapolating recent growth well into the future, reflected in the relatively high P/E ratio.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’ We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: Camsing International Holding may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.