This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at Asia Standard Hotel Group Limited's (HKG:292) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Asia Standard Hotel Group has a P/E ratio of 0.97. That means that at current prices, buyers pay HK$0.97 for every HK$1 in trailing yearly profits.
How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Asia Standard Hotel Group:
P/E of 0.97 = HK$0.224 ÷ HK$0.230 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)
(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)
Is A High P/E Ratio Good?
The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.
Does Asia Standard Hotel Group Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Asia Standard Hotel Group has a lower P/E than the average (13.0) P/E for companies in the hospitality industry.
This suggests that market participants think Asia Standard Hotel Group will underperform other companies in its industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.
In the last year, Asia Standard Hotel Group grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 330% gain was both fast and well deserved. Having said that, the average EPS growth over the last three years wasn't so good, coming in at 15%.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet
The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
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.
Asia Standard Hotel Group's Balance Sheet
Asia Standard Hotel Group's net debt is 7.0% of its market cap. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.
The Bottom Line On Asia Standard Hotel Group's P/E Ratio
Asia Standard Hotel Group's P/E is 1.0 which is below average (9.2) in the HK market. The company does have a little debt, and EPS growth was good last year. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.
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. 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 find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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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