Is Korea Business News Co., Ltd.’s (KOSDAQ:039340) P/E Ratio Really That Good?

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Korea Business News Co., Ltd.’s (KOSDAQ:039340), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Korea Business News has a P/E ratio of 6.41, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying ₩6.41 for every ₩1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Korea Business News

How Do I Calculate Korea Business News’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Korea Business News:

P/E of 6.41 = ₩4160.000 ÷ ₩648.950 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each ₩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 Does Korea Business News’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Korea Business News has a lower P/E than the average (16.4) P/E for companies in the media industry.

KOSDAQ:A039340 Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 4th 2020
KOSDAQ:A039340 Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 4th 2020

This suggests that market participants think Korea Business News will underperform other companies in its industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company’s P/E multiple. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Korea Business News saw earnings per share decrease by 15% last year. But EPS is up 68% over the last 5 years.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).

While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

So What Does Korea Business News’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Korea Business News has net cash of ₩40b. This is fairly high at 43% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.

The Bottom Line On Korea Business News’s P/E Ratio

Korea Business News has a P/E of 6.4. That’s below the average in the KR market, which is 14.1. The recent drop in earnings per share would make investors cautious, the healthy balance sheet means the company retains potential for future growth. If that occurs, the current low P/E could prove to be temporary.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Korea Business News. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.