To the annoyance of some shareholders, Groupe Partouche (EPA:PARP) shares are down a considerable 38% in the last month. The recent drop has obliterated the annual return, with the share price now down 10% over that longer period.
Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower share price makes a stock more attractive to potential buyers. In the long term, share prices tend to follow earnings per share, but in the short term prices bounce around in response to short term factors (which are not always obvious). So, on certain occasions, long term focussed investors try to take advantage of pessimistic expectations to buy shares at a better price. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). Investors have optimistic expectations of companies with higher P/E ratios, compared to companies with lower P/E ratios.
Does Groupe Partouche Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
We can tell from its P/E ratio of 9.23 that sentiment around Groupe Partouche isn't particularly high. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (14.6) for companies in the hospitality industry is higher than Groupe Partouche's P/E.
Groupe Partouche's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Groupe Partouche, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
Groupe Partouche's earnings made like a rocket, taking off 199% last year. Even better, EPS is up 19% per year over three years. So we'd absolutely expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).
Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.
Is Debt Impacting Groupe Partouche's P/E?
Net debt totals 16% of Groupe Partouche's market cap. This could bring some additional risk, and reduce the number of investment options for management; worth remembering if you compare its P/E to businesses without debt.
The Verdict On Groupe Partouche's P/E Ratio
Groupe Partouche's P/E is 9.2 which is below average (13.2) in the FR market. The EPS growth last year was strong, and debt levels are quite reasonable. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue. Given Groupe Partouche's P/E ratio has declined from 14.9 to 9.2 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is more worried about the business today, than it was back then. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might be a bad sign, but for deep value investors this stock might justify some research.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. Although we don't have analyst forecasts shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Groupe Partouche. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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