China Chunlai Education Group Co., Ltd. (HKG:1969) shares have had a really impressive month, gaining 31% after a shaky period beforehand. Looking back a bit further, it's encouraging to see the stock is up 90% in the last year.
In spite of the firm bounce in price, China Chunlai Education Group's price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 4.1x might still make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the market in Hong Kong , where around half of the companies have P/E ratios above 10x and even P/E's above 20x are quite common. However, the P/E might be quite low for a reason and it requires further investigation to determine if it's justified.
With earnings growth that's exceedingly strong of late, China Chunlai Education Group has been doing very well. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to degrade substantially, which has repressed the P/E. If that doesn't eventuate, then existing shareholders have reason to be quite optimistic about the future direction of the share price.
View our latest analysis for China Chunlai Education GroupSEHK:1969 Price Based on Past Earnings July 14th 2022 Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on China Chunlai Education Group will help you shine a light on its historical performance.
Does Growth Match The Low P/E?
China Chunlai Education Group's P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's expected to deliver very poor growth or even falling earnings, and importantly, perform much worse than the market.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 197% gain to the company's bottom line. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 410% overall rise in EPS, aided by its short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably welcomed those medium-term rates of earnings growth.
Comparing that to the market, which is only predicted to deliver 15% growth in the next 12 months, the company's momentum is stronger based on recent medium-term annualised earnings results.
With this information, we find it odd that China Chunlai Education Group is trading at a P/E lower than the market. It looks like most investors are not convinced the company can maintain its recent growth rates.
The Final Word
Shares in China Chunlai Education Group are going to need a lot more upward momentum to get the company's P/E out of its slump. Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.
We've established that China Chunlai Education Group currently trades on a much lower than expected P/E since its recent three-year growth is higher than the wider market forecast. When we see strong earnings with faster-than-market growth, we assume potential risks are what might be placing significant pressure on the P/E ratio. It appears many are indeed anticipating earnings instability, because the persistence of these recent medium-term conditions would normally provide a boost to the share price.
Having said that, be aware China Chunlai Education Group is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis, you should know about.
Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than China Chunlai Education Group. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that sit on P/E's below 20x and have grown earnings strongly.
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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.