When close to half the companies in Poland have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") below 10x, you may consider Govena Lighting S.A. (WSE:GOV) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 28.3x P/E ratio. However, the P/E might be quite high for a reason and it requires further investigation to determine if it's justified.
As an illustration, earnings have deteriorated at Govena Lighting over the last year, which is not ideal at all. It might be that many expect the company to still outplay most other companies over the coming period, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. If not, then existing shareholders may be quite nervous about the viability of the share price.free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.
How Is Govena Lighting's Growth Trending?
There's an inherent assumption that a company should far outperform the market for P/E ratios like Govena Lighting's to be considered reasonable.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 32% decrease to the company's bottom line. Unfortunately, that's brought it right back to where it started three years ago with EPS growth being virtually non-existent overall during that time. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.
This is in contrast to the rest of the market, which is expected to grow by 3.6% over the next year, materially higher than the company's recent medium-term annualised growth rates.
In light of this, it's alarming that Govena Lighting's P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly limited recent growth rates and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. There's a good chance existing shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with recent growth rates.
The Bottom Line On Govena Lighting's P/E
We'd say the price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.
Our examination of Govena Lighting revealed its three-year earnings trends aren't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted, given they look worse than current market expectations. When we see weak earnings with slower than market growth, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it will place shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.
Having said that, be aware Govena Lighting is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those is potentially serious.
If you're unsure about the strength of Govena Lighting's business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.