To the annoyance of some shareholders, G5 Entertainment (STO:G5EN) shares are down a considerable 30% in the last month. Indeed the recent decline has arguably caused some bitterness for shareholders who have held through the 45% drop over twelve months.
Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower share price makes a stock more attractive to potential buyers. While the market sentiment towards a stock is very changeable, in the long run, the share price will tend to move in the same direction as earnings per share. The implication here is that long term investors have an opportunity when expectations of a company are too low. Perhaps the simplest way to get a read on investors' expectations of a business is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E ratio means that investors have a high expectation about future growth, while a low P/E ratio means they have low expectations about future growth.
How Does G5 Entertainment's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
G5 Entertainment's P/E of 11.92 indicates relatively low sentiment towards the stock. The image below shows that G5 Entertainment has a lower P/E than the average (30.6) P/E for companies in the entertainment industry.
G5 Entertainment'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 G5 Entertainment, 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
Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
G5 Entertainment's earnings per share fell by 48% in the last twelve months. But EPS is up 23% over the last 3 years.
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. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).
So What Does G5 Entertainment's Balance Sheet Tell Us?
With net cash of kr128m, G5 Entertainment has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 16% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.
The Verdict On G5 Entertainment's P/E Ratio
G5 Entertainment trades on a P/E ratio of 11.9, which is below the SE market average of 18.4. The recent drop in earnings per share would almost certainly temper expectations, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: if so, the low P/E could be an opportunity. Given G5 Entertainment's P/E ratio has declined from 17.0 to 11.9 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is significantly less confident about the business today, than it was back then. For those who don't like to trade against momentum, that could be a warning sign, but a contrarian investor might want to take a closer look.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.
You might be able to find a better buy than G5 Entertainment. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
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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