With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 4.7x Motus Holdings Limited (JSE:MTH) may be sending bullish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in South Africa have P/E ratios greater than 9x and even P/E's higher than 15x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the reduced P/E.
Recent times haven't been advantageous for Motus Holdings as its earnings have been rising slower than most other companies. The P/E is probably low because investors think this lacklustre earnings performance isn't going to get any better. If this is the case, then existing shareholders will probably struggle to get excited about the future direction of the share price.free report on Motus Holdings will help you uncover what's on the horizon.
What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The Low P/E?
Motus Holdings' P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's only expected to deliver limited growth, and importantly, perform worse than the market.
If we review the last year of earnings growth, the company posted a worthy increase of 5.6%. Pleasingly, EPS has also lifted 1,076% in aggregate from three years ago, partly thanks to the last 12 months of growth. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably welcomed those medium-term rates of earnings growth.
Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to climb by 6.3% each year during the coming three years according to the three analysts following the company. With the market predicted to deliver 10% growth each year, the company is positioned for a weaker earnings result.
With this information, we can see why Motus Holdings is trading at a P/E lower than the market. It seems most investors are expecting to see limited future growth and are only willing to pay a reduced amount for the stock.
The Final Word
While the price-to-earnings ratio shouldn't be the defining factor in whether you buy a stock or not, it's quite a capable barometer of earnings expectations.
We've established that Motus Holdings maintains its low P/E on the weakness of its forecast growth being lower than the wider market, as expected. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in earnings isn't great enough to justify a higher P/E ratio. It's hard to see the share price rising strongly in the near future under these circumstances.
You should always think about risks. Case in point, we've spotted 2 warning signs for Motus Holdings you should be aware of, and 1 of them is potentially serious.
If you're unsure about the strength of Motus Holdings' 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.