Should You Be Tempted To Sell Ramaco Resources Inc (NASDAQ:METC) Because Of Its PE Ratio?

This article is intended for those of you who are at the beginning of your investing journey and want to learn about the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

Ramaco Resources Inc (NASDAQ:METC) is currently trading at a trailing P/E of 48.5, which is higher than the industry average of 12.2. Although some investors may see this as unappealing, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before making judgments. In this article, I will break down what the P/E ratio is, how to interpret it and what other factors to keep in mind.

View our latest analysis for Ramaco Resources

Breaking down the P/E ratio

NasdaqGS:METC PE PEG Gauge October 19th 18
NasdaqGS:METC PE PEG Gauge October 19th 18

A common ratio used for relative valuation is the P/E ratio. It compares a stock’s price per share to the stock’s earnings per share. A more intuitive way of understanding the P/E ratio is to think of it as 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 METC

Price per share = $8.02

Earnings per share = $0.166

∴ Price-Earnings Ratio = $8.02 ÷ $0.166 = 48.5x

The P/E ratio isn’t a metric you view in isolation and only becomes useful when you compare it against other similar companies. Ultimately, our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to METC, such as company lifetime and products sold. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. Since it is expected that similar companies have similar P/E ratios, we can come to some conclusions about the stock if the ratios are different.

Since METC’s P/E of 48.5 is higher than its industry peers (12.2), it means that investors are paying more for each dollar of METC’s earnings. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 Metals and Mining companies in US including Nuinsco Resources, Ossen Innovation and Nevada Canyon Gold. You could also say that the market is suggesting that METC has a stronger business than the average comparable company.

Assumptions to watch out for

However, you should be aware that this analysis makes certain assumptions. Firstly, that our peer group contains companies that are similar to METC. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. Take, for example, the scenario where Ramaco Resources Inc is growing profits more quickly than the average comparable company. In that case, the market may be correct to value it on a higher P/E ratio. Of course, it is possible that the stocks we are comparing with METC are not fairly valued. Just because it is trading on a higher P/E ratio than its peers does not mean it must be overvalued. After all, the peer group could be undervalued.

NasdaqGS:METC Future Profit October 19th 18
NasdaqGS:METC 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 METC. 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 highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for METC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for METC’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are METC’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  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.