Keywords Studios plc’s (LON:KWS) price-to-earnings (or “P/E”) ratio of 38.4x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in the United Kingdom, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 15x and even P/E’s below 8x are quite common. Although, it’s not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it’s so lofty.
With earnings that are retreating more than the market’s of late, Keywords Studios has been very sluggish. It might be that many expect the dismal earnings performance to recover substantially, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. You’d really hope so, otherwise you’re paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.
Keen to find out how analysts think Keywords Studios’ future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.
What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The High P/E?
The only time you’d be truly comfortable seeing a P/E as steep as Keywords Studios’ is when the company’s growth is on track to outshine the market decidedly.
If we review the last year of earnings, dishearteningly the company’s profits fell to the tune of 29%. Still, the latest three year period has seen an excellent 113% overall rise in EPS, in spite of its unsatisfying short-term performance. Although it’s been a bumpy ride, it’s still fair to say the earnings growth recently has been more than adequate for the company.
Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to climb by 20% each year during the coming three years according to the twelve analysts following the company. Meanwhile, the rest of the market is forecast to only expand by 12% per annum, which is noticeably less attractive.
In light of this, it’s understandable that Keywords Studios’ P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are expecting this strong future growth and are willing to pay more for the stock.
The Key Takeaway
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.
As we suspected, our examination of Keywords Studios’ analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook is contributing to its high P/E. At this stage investors feel the potential for a deterioration in earnings isn’t great enough to justify a lower P/E ratio. Unless these conditions change, they will continue to provide strong support to the share price.
Plus, you should also learn about these 2 warning signs we’ve spotted with Keywords Studios.
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 low P/E).
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.