Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Tanla Solutions Limited (NSE:TANLA) Still Undervalued?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Tanla Solutions Limited’s (NSE:TANLA) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Tanla Solutions has a price to earnings ratio of 23.37, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 4.3%.

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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 Tanla Solutions:

P/E of 23.37 = ₹33.95 ÷ ₹1.45 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. That isn’t necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.

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. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

Tanla Solutions’s earnings per share fell by 58% in the last twelve months. But it has grown its earnings per share by 54% per year over the last five years.

How Does Tanla Solutions’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Tanla Solutions has a higher P/E than the average company (15.9) in the software industry.

NSEI:TANLA PE PEG Gauge January 29th 19
NSEI:TANLA PE PEG Gauge January 29th 19

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Tanla Solutions shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

Tanla Solutions’s Balance Sheet

The extra options and safety that comes with Tanla Solutions’s ₹1.7b net cash position means that it deserves a higher P/E than it would if it had a lot of net debt.

The Bottom Line On Tanla Solutions’s P/E Ratio

Tanla Solutions’s P/E is 23.4 which is above average (16.2) in the IN market. Falling earnings per share is probably keeping traditional value investors away, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: and the high P/E suggests the market thinks it will.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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.’ Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

You might be able to find a better buy than Tanla Solutions. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.