With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 7.2x Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF) may be sending very bullish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United Kingdom have P/E ratios greater than 16x and even P/E's higher than 32x 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.
With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Anglo Pacific Group has been doing quite well of late. One possibility is that the P/E is low because investors think the company's earnings are going to fall away like everyone else's soon. 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.
Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on Anglo Pacific Group will help you uncover what's on the horizon.
What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The Low P/E?
There's an inherent assumption that a company should far underperform the market for P/E ratios like Anglo Pacific Group's to be considered reasonable.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered virtually the same number to the company's bottom line as the year before. Likewise, not much has changed from three years ago as earnings have been stuck during that whole time. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has definitely eluded the company recently.
Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to slump, contracting by 12% per annum during the coming three years according to the five analysts following the company. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 11% per year, which paints a poor picture.
In light of this, it's understandable that Anglo Pacific Group's 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. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as the weak outlook is weighing down the shares.
The Bottom Line On Anglo Pacific Group's P/E
The price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.
As we suspected, our examination of Anglo Pacific Group's analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings is contributing to its low P/E. Right now shareholders are accepting the low P/E as they concede future earnings probably won't provide any pleasant surprises. Unless these conditions improve, they will continue to form a barrier for the share price around these levels.
Plus, you should also learn about these 5 warning signs we've spotted with Anglo Pacific Group (including 1 which is a bit concerning).
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with a strong growth track record, trading on a P/E below 20x.
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. 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.