The Keen Ocean International Holding Limited (HKG:8070) share price has done very well over the last month, posting an excellent gain of 66%. The last 30 days bring the annual gain to a very sharp 90%.
Although its price has surged higher, there still wouldn't be many who think Keen Ocean International Holding's price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 7.9x is worth a mention when the median P/E in Hong Kong is similar at about 9x. Although, it's not wise to simply ignore the P/E without explanation as investors may be disregarding a distinct opportunity or a costly mistake.
Keen Ocean International Holding has been doing a good job lately as it's been growing earnings at a solid pace. One possibility is that the P/E is moderate because investors think this respectable earnings growth might not be enough to outperform the broader market in the near future. If that doesn't eventuate, then existing shareholders probably aren't too pessimistic about the future direction of the share price.
View our latest analysis for Keen Ocean International HoldingSEHK:8070 Price Based on Past Earnings May 16th 2022 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 Keen Ocean International Holding's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Does Growth Match The P/E?
The only time you'd be comfortable seeing a P/E like Keen Ocean International Holding's is when the company's growth is tracking the market closely.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 21% gain to the company's bottom line. Although, its longer-term performance hasn't been as strong with three-year EPS growth being relatively non-existent overall. So it appears to us that the company has had a mixed result in terms of growing earnings over that time.
This is in contrast to the rest of the market, which is expected to grow by 17% over the next year, materially higher than the company's recent medium-term annualised growth rates.
In light of this, it's curious that Keen Ocean International Holding's P/E sits in line with the majority of other companies. Apparently many investors in the company are less bearish than recent times would indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock right now. They may be setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with recent growth rates.
The Key Takeaway
Keen Ocean International Holding appears to be back in favour with a solid price jump getting its P/E back in line with most other companies. It's argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.
We've established that Keen Ocean International Holding currently trades on a higher than expected P/E since its recent three-year growth is lower than the wider market forecast. Right now we are uncomfortable with the P/E as this earnings performance isn't likely to support a more positive sentiment for long. Unless the recent medium-term conditions improve, it's challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.
Having said that, be aware Keen Ocean International Holding is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 2 of those are significant.
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).
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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.