Should You Be Tempted To Sell Mahickra Chemicals Limited (NSE:MAHICKRA) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how Mahickra Chemicals Limited’s (NSE:MAHICKRA) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Mahickra Chemicals has a price to earnings ratio of 28.96, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying ₹28.96 for every ₹1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Mahickra Chemicals

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Mahickra Chemicals:

P/E of 28.96 = ₹83.00 ÷ ₹2.87 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each ₹1 of company earnings. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.

Does Mahickra Chemicals Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Mahickra Chemicals has a higher P/E than the average (10.7) P/E for companies in the chemicals industry.

NSEI:MAHICKRA Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 22nd 2019
NSEI:MAHICKRA Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 22nd 2019

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Mahickra Chemicals 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.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Mahickra Chemicals’s earnings made like a rocket, taking off 75% last year. The cherry on top is that the five year growth rate was an impressive 40% per year. So I’d be surprised if the P/E ratio was not above average.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

So What Does Mahickra Chemicals’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Net debt totals just 7.9% of Mahickra Chemicals’s market cap. The market might award it a higher P/E ratio if it had net cash, but its unlikely this low level of net borrowing is having a big impact on the P/E multiple.

The Verdict On Mahickra Chemicals’s P/E Ratio

Mahickra Chemicals has a P/E of 29.0. That’s higher than the average in its market, which is 13.0. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is superb. So to be frank we are not surprised it has a high P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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: Mahickra Chemicals 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).

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.