Unfortunately for some shareholders, the AAC Technologies Holdings (HKG:2018) share price has dived 37% in the last thirty days. Even longer term holders have taken a real hit with the stock declining 18% in the last year.
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. So, on certain occasions, long term focussed investors try to take advantage of pessimistic expectations to buy shares at a better price. 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 implies that investors have high expectations of what a company can achieve compared to a company with a low P/E ratio.
How Does AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E of 16.10 indicates some degree of optimism towards the stock. The image below shows that AAC Technologies Holdings has a higher P/E than the average (7.8) P/E for companies in the electronic industry.
AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
If earnings fall then in the future the 'E' will be lower. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.
AAC Technologies Holdings's earnings per share fell by 45% in the last twelve months. But EPS is up 3.5% over the last 5 years. And over the longer term (3 years) earnings per share have decreased 9.8% annually. This could justify a low P/E.
A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank
The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.
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).
Is Debt Impacting AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E?
Net debt totals just 6.3% of AAC Technologies Holdings's market cap. The market might award it a higher P/E ratio if it had net cash, but its unlikely this low level of net borrowing is having a big impact on the P/E multiple.
The Bottom Line On AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E Ratio
AAC Technologies Holdings's P/E is 16.1 which is above average (8.8) in its market. With modest debt but no EPS growth in the last year, it's fair to say the P/E implies some optimism about future earnings, from the market. What can be absolutely certain is that the market has become significantly less optimistic about AAC Technologies Holdings over the last month, with the P/E ratio falling from 25.7 back then to 16.1 today. 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.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. 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.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than AAC Technologies Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
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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