Stock Analysis

Some CSP Inc. (NASDAQ:CSPI) Shareholders Look For Exit As Shares Take 30% Pounding

NasdaqGM:CSPI
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CSP Inc. (NASDAQ:CSPI) shares have retraced a considerable 30% in the last month, reversing a fair amount of their solid recent performance. Of course, over the longer-term many would still wish they owned shares as the stock's price has soared 107% in the last twelve months.

Even after such a large drop in price, it's still not a stretch to say that CSP's price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 18.9x right now seems quite "middle-of-the-road" compared to the market in the United States, where the median P/E ratio is around 17x. While this might not raise any eyebrows, if the P/E ratio is not justified investors could be missing out on a potential opportunity or ignoring looming disappointment.

With earnings growth that's exceedingly strong of late, CSP has been doing very well. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to wane, which has kept the P/E from rising. If that doesn't eventuate, then existing shareholders have reason to be feeling optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

See our latest analysis for CSP

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NasdaqGM:CSPI Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry December 31st 2023
Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on CSP will help you shine a light on its historical performance.

What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The P/E?

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

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 166% gain to the company's bottom line. Still, EPS has barely risen at all from three years ago in total, which is not ideal. Accordingly, shareholders probably wouldn't have been overly satisfied with the unstable medium-term growth rates.

Comparing that to the market, which is predicted to deliver 10% growth in the next 12 months, the company's momentum is weaker based on recent medium-term annualised earnings results.

With this information, we find it interesting that CSP is trading at a fairly similar P/E to the market. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly limited recent growth rates and are willing to pay up for exposure to the stock. They may be setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with recent growth rates.

The Final Word

Following CSP's share price tumble, its P/E is now hanging on to the median market P/E. It's argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.

We've established that CSP currently trades on a higher than expected P/E since its recent three-year growth is lower than the wider market forecast. Right now we are uncomfortable with the P/E as this earnings performance isn't likely to support a more positive sentiment for long. Unless the recent medium-term conditions improve, it's challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

There are also other vital risk factors to consider before investing and we've discovered 3 warning signs for CSP that you should be aware of.

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 a strong growth track record, trading on a low P/E.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether CSP is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.