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Getting In Cheap On ZipRecruiter, Inc. (NYSE:ZIP) Is Unlikely

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 29.7x ZipRecruiter, Inc. (NYSE:ZIP) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios under 14x and even P/E's lower than 8x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.

With earnings growth that's superior to most other companies of late, ZipRecruiter has been doing relatively well. 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.

See our latest analysis for ZipRecruiter

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Keen to find out how analysts think ZipRecruiter's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

How Is ZipRecruiter's Growth Trending?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as steep as ZipRecruiter's is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the market decidedly.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 140% last year. However, the latest three year period hasn't been as great in aggregate as it didn't manage to provide any growth at all. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the five analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 20% over the next year. That's not great when the rest of the market is expected to grow by 7.4%.

In light of this, it's alarming that ZipRecruiter's P/E sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently many investors in the company reject the analyst cohort's pessimism and aren't willing to let go of their stock at any price. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as these declining earnings are likely to weigh heavily on the share price eventually.

The Bottom Line On ZipRecruiter's P/E

Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

Our examination of ZipRecruiter's analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings isn't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted. When we see a poor outlook with earnings heading backwards, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. Unless these conditions improve markedly, it's very challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

The company's balance sheet is another key area for risk analysis. Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis for ZipRecruiter with six simple checks on some of these key factors.

It's important to make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20x).

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

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