When close to half the companies in Australia have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") above 18x, you may consider DRA Global Limited (ASX:DRA) as a highly attractive investment with its 2.9x P/E ratio. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly reduced P/E.
With earnings growth that's exceedingly strong of late, DRA Global has been doing very well. One possibility is that the P/E is low because investors think this strong earnings growth might actually underperform the broader market in the near future. If that doesn't eventuate, then existing shareholders have reason to be quite optimistic about the future direction of the share price.
Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on DRA Global will help you shine a light on its historical performance.
How Is DRA Global's Growth Trending?
The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as depressed as DRA Global's is when the company's growth is on track to lag the market decidedly.
Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 213% last year. Although, its longer-term performance hasn't been as strong with three-year EPS growth being relatively non-existent overall. Accordingly, shareholders probably wouldn't have been overly satisfied with the unstable medium-term growth rates.
This is in contrast to the rest of the market, which is expected to grow by 20% over the next year, materially higher than the company's recent medium-term annualised growth rates.
In light of this, it's understandable that DRA Global's P/E sits below the majority of other companies. Apparently many shareholders weren't comfortable holding on to something they believe will continue to trail the bourse.
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 DRA Global maintains its low P/E on the weakness of its recent three-year growth being lower than the wider market forecast, as expected. Right now shareholders are accepting the low P/E as they concede future earnings probably won't provide any pleasant surprises. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it's hard to see the share price rising strongly in the near future under these circumstances.
Before you take the next step, you should know about the 2 warning signs for DRA Global that we have uncovered.
Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than DRA Global. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that sit on P/E's below 20x and have grown earnings strongly.
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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.