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Improved Earnings Required Before Salzgitter AG (ETR:SZG) Stock's 35% Jump Looks Justified

Despite an already strong run, Salzgitter AG (ETR:SZG) shares have been powering on, with a gain of 35% in the last thirty days. The last 30 days bring the annual gain to a very sharp 31%.

Even after such a large jump in price, Salzgitter's price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 2x might still make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the market in Germany, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios above 17x and even P/E's above 32x 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 limited.

Salzgitter certainly has been doing a good job lately as it's been growing earnings more than most other companies. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to degrade substantially, 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Salzgitter


Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on Salzgitter will help you uncover what's on the horizon.

What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The Low P/E?

In order to justify its P/E ratio, Salzgitter would need to produce anemic growth that's substantially trailing the market.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 146% gain to the company's bottom line. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 2,045% overall rise in EPS, aided by its short-term performance. Therefore, it's fair to say the earnings growth recently has been superb for the company.

Turning to the outlook, the next year should bring diminished returns, with earnings decreasing 57% as estimated by the ten analysts watching the company. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 5.8%, which paints a poor picture.

With this information, we are not surprised that Salzgitter is trading at a P/E lower than the market. 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 Key Takeaway

Salzgitter's recent share price jump still sees its P/E sitting firmly flat on the ground. While the price-to-earnings ratio shouldn't be the defining factor in whether you buy a stock or not, it's quite a capable barometer of earnings expectations.

We've established that Salzgitter maintains its low P/E on the weakness of its forecast for sliding earnings, as expected. 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.

It is also worth noting that we have found 3 warning signs for Salzgitter (2 shouldn't be ignored!) that you need to take into consideration.

If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly and trade on P/E's below 20x.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at)

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.

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