Does Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited’s (NSE:MIDHANI) PE Ratio Warrant A Sell?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to learn about the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (NSE:MIDHANI) is trading with a trailing P/E of 16.1, which is higher than the industry average of 11.5. Though this might seem to be a negative, you might change your mind after I explain the assumptions behind the P/E ratio. Today, I will deconstruct the P/E ratio and highlight what you need to be careful of when using the P/E ratio.

View our latest analysis for Mishra Dhatu Nigam

Breaking down the P/E ratio

NSEI:MIDHANI PE PEG Gauge October 19th 18
NSEI:MIDHANI PE PEG Gauge October 19th 18

P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

Formula

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

P/E Calculation for MIDHANI

Price per share = ₹116.35

Earnings per share = ₹7.231

∴ Price-Earnings Ratio = ₹116.35 ÷ ₹7.231 = 16.1x

The P/E ratio isn’t a metric you view in isolation and only becomes useful when you compare it against other similar companies. We preferably want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar features to MIDHANI, such as capital structure and profitability. A common peer group is companies that exist in the same industry, which is what I use below. Since similar companies should technically have similar P/E ratios, we can very quickly come to some conclusions about the stock if the ratios differ.

MIDHANI’s P/E of 16.1 is higher than its industry peers (11.5), which implies that each dollar of MIDHANI’s earnings is being overvalued by investors. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 Metals and Mining companies in IN including Golkonda Aluminium Extrusions, Mukand and Shri Bajrang Alloys. You could also say that the market is suggesting that MIDHANI has a stronger business than the average comparable company.

Assumptions to be aware of

Before you jump to conclusions it is important to realise that there are assumptions in this analysis. Firstly, that our peer group contains companies that are similar to MIDHANI. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited could be growing more quickly than the companies we’re comparing it with. In that case it would deserve a higher P/E ratio. We should also be aware that the stocks we are comparing to MIDHANI may not be fairly valued. Thus while we might conclude that it is richly valued relative to its peers, that could be explained by the peer group being undervalued.

NSEI:MIDHANI Future Profit October 19th 18
NSEI:MIDHANI Future Profit October 19th 18

What this means for you:

You may have already conducted fundamental analysis on the stock as a shareholder, so its current overvaluation could signal a potential selling opportunity to reduce your exposure to MIDHANI. Now that you understand the ins and outs of the PE metric, you should know to bear in mind its limitations before you make an investment decision. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for MIDHANI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MIDHANI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has MIDHANI been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of MIDHANI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.