Here’s How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding S.A. (WSE:EGH)

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding S.A.’s (WSE:EGH), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding has a P/E ratio of 7.00, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying PLN7.00 for every PLN1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding:

P/E of 7.00 = PLN1.98 ÷ PLN0.28 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each PLN1 of company earnings. 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 Does Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (8.9) for companies in the trade distributors industry is higher than Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s P/E.

WSE:EGH Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 15th 2019
WSE:EGH Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 15th 2019

This suggests that market participants think Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding will underperform other companies in its industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. 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.

Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s 79% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. Having said that, the average EPS growth over the last three years wasn’t so good, coming in at 1.2%.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. 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.

How Does Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

With net cash of zł2.1m, Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 40% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s P/E Ratio

Ekopol Gornoslaski Holding’s P/E is 7.0 which is below average (10.0) in the PL market. The net cash position gives plenty of options to the business, and the recent improvement in EPS is good to see. The relatively low P/E ratio implies the market is pessimistic.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E 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.