Getting In Cheap On Leslie's, Inc. (NASDAQ:LESL) Might Be Difficult

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 29, 2021
NasdaqGS:LESL
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Leslie's, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:LESL) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 34.7x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 17x and even P/E's below 10x are quite common. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

Recent times have been advantageous for Leslie's as its earnings have been rising faster than most other companies. It seems that many are expecting the strong earnings performance to persist, which has raised the P/E. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

View our latest analysis for Leslie's

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NasdaqGS:LESL Price Based on Past Earnings August 30th 2021
Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on Leslie's will help you uncover what's on the horizon.

How Is Leslie's' Growth Trending?

There's an inherent assumption that a company should far outperform the market for P/E ratios like Leslie's' to be considered reasonable.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 472% gain to the company's bottom line. The strong recent performance means it was also able to grow EPS by 543% in total over the last three years. So we can start by confirming that the company has done a great job of growing earnings over that time.

Turning to the outlook, the next three years should generate growth of 17% per annum as estimated by the eleven analysts watching the company. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 12% each year growth forecast for the broader market.

In light of this, it's understandable that Leslie's' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently shareholders aren't keen to offload something that is potentially eyeing a more prosperous future.

The Key Takeaway

Using the price-to-earnings ratio alone to determine if you should sell your stock isn't sensible, however it can be a practical guide to the company's future prospects.

We've established that Leslie's maintains its high P/E on the strength of its forecast growth being higher than the wider market, as expected. At this stage investors feel the potential for a deterioration in earnings isn't great enough to justify a lower P/E ratio. Unless these conditions change, they will continue to provide strong support to the share price.

We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 4 warning signs for Leslie's (2 shouldn't be ignored!) that you need to be mindful of.

If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly and trade on P/E's below 20x.

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