It’s really great to see that even after a strong run, China New Higher Education Group (HKG:2001) shares have been powering on, with a gain of 31% in the last thirty days. And the full year gain of 29% isn’t too shabby, either!
All else being equal, a sharp share price increase should make a stock less attractive to potential investors. 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 deep value investors might steer clear when expectations of a company are too high. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock 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.
See our latest analysis for China New Higher Education Group
How Does China New Higher Education Group’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
China New Higher Education Group’s P/E is 14.81. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (14.6) for companies in the consumer services industry is roughly the same as China New Higher Education Group’s P/E.
That indicates that the market expects China New Higher Education Group will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. Checking factors such as director buying and selling. could help you form your own view on if that will happen.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.
China New Higher Education Group’s earnings made like a rocket, taking off 51% last year. Even better, EPS is up 39% per year over three years. So we’d absolutely expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
So What Does China New Higher Education Group’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?
China New Higher Education Group’s net debt is 13% of its market cap. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.
The Bottom Line On China New Higher Education Group’s P/E Ratio
China New Higher Education Group trades on a P/E ratio of 14.8, which is above its market average of 9.5. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is superb. So on this analysis a high P/E ratio seems reasonable. What is very clear is that the market has become more optimistic about China New Higher Education Group over the last month, with the P/E ratio rising from 11.3 back then to 14.8 today. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might mean it’s time to put the stock on a watchlist, or research it. But the contrarian may see it as a missed opportunity.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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 China New Higher Education Group. 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 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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.