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PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSE:PYR) May Have Run Too Fast Too Soon With Recent 42% Price Plummet

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The PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSE:PYR) share price has fared very poorly over the last month, falling by a substantial 42%. Longer-term shareholders would now have taken a real hit with the stock declining 4.8% in the last year.

In spite of the heavy fall in price, PyroGenesis Canada may still be sending very bearish signals at the moment with a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 78x, since almost half of all companies in Canada have P/E ratios under 12x and even P/E's lower than 6x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

For instance, PyroGenesis Canada's receding earnings in recent times would have to be some food for thought. It might be that many expect the company to still outplay most other companies over the coming period, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. If not, then existing shareholders may be quite nervous about the viability of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for PyroGenesis Canada

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We don't have analyst forecasts, but you can see how recent trends are setting up the company for the future by checking out our free report on PyroGenesis Canada's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Is There Enough Growth For PyroGenesis Canada?

PyroGenesis Canada's P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's expected to deliver very strong growth, and importantly, perform much better than the market.

If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 55%. At least EPS has managed not to go completely backwards from three years ago in aggregate, thanks to the earlier period of growth. 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 concerning that PyroGenesis Canada is trading at a P/E higher than the market. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly limited recent growth rates and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as a continuation of recent earnings trends is likely to weigh heavily on the share price eventually.

The Bottom Line On PyroGenesis Canada's P/E

A significant share price dive has done very little to deflate PyroGenesis Canada's very lofty P/E. 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.

Our examination of PyroGenesis Canada revealed its three-year earnings trends aren't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted, given they look worse than current market expectations. When we see weak earnings with slower than market growth, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. Unless the recent medium-term conditions improve markedly, it's very challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

Before you take the next step, you should know about the 5 warning signs for PyroGenesis Canada (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that we have uncovered.

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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