To the annoyance of some shareholders, Wai Kee Holdings Limited (HKG:610) shares are down a considerable 25% in the last month, which continues a horrid run for the company. The drop over the last 30 days has capped off a tough year for shareholders, with the share price down 47% in that time.
Following the heavy fall in price, Wai Kee Holdings may be sending very bullish signals at the moment with its price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 3.6x, since almost half of all companies in Hong Kong have P/E ratios greater than 9x and even P/E's higher than 19x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so limited.
As an illustration, earnings have deteriorated at Wai Kee Holdings over the last year, which is not ideal at all. It might be that many expect the disappointing earnings performance to continue or accelerate, which has repressed the P/E. If you like the company, you'd be hoping this isn't the case so that you could potentially pick up some stock while it's out of favour.
See our latest analysis for Wai Kee HoldingsSEHK:610 Price Based on Past Earnings October 10th 2022 Although there are no analyst estimates available for Wai Kee Holdings, take a look at this free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.
How Is Wai Kee Holdings' Growth Trending?
The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as depressed as Wai Kee Holdings' is when the company's growth is on track to lag the market decidedly.
If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company's profits fell to the tune of 51%. As a result, earnings from three years ago have also fallen 63% overall. So unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the company has not done a great job of growing earnings over that time.
Comparing that to the market, which is predicted to deliver 20% growth in the next 12 months, the company's downward momentum based on recent medium-term earnings results is a sobering picture.
In light of this, it's understandable that Wai Kee Holdings' P/E would sit below the majority of other companies. Nonetheless, there's no guarantee the P/E has reached a floor yet with earnings going in reverse. There's potential for the P/E to fall to even lower levels if the company doesn't improve its profitability.
The Bottom Line On Wai Kee Holdings' P/E
Wai Kee Holdings' P/E looks about as weak as its stock price lately. 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 Wai Kee Holdings maintains its low P/E on the weakness of its sliding earnings over the medium-term, as expected. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in earnings isn't great enough to justify a higher P/E ratio. Unless the recent medium-term conditions improve, they will continue to form a barrier for the share price around these levels.
Before you take the next step, you should know about the 3 warning signs for Wai Kee Holdings (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that we have uncovered.
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.