MAAS Group Holdings Limited's (ASX:MGH) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 35.8x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in Australia, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 15x and even P/E's below 8x are quite common. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.
Recent earnings growth for MAAS Group Holdings has been in line with the market. It might be that many expect the mediocre earnings performance to strengthen positively, which has kept the P/E from falling. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on MAAS Group Holdings.
Is There Enough Growth For MAAS Group Holdings?
In order to justify its P/E ratio, MAAS Group Holdings would need to produce outstanding growth well in excess of the market.
If we review the last year of earnings growth, the company posted a terrific increase of 27%. Pleasingly, EPS has also lifted 154% in aggregate from three years ago, thanks to the last 12 months of growth. So we can start by confirming that the company has done a great job of growing earnings over that time.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the three analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 43% each year over the next three years. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 12% each year growth forecast for the broader market.
With this information, we can see why MAAS Group Holdings is trading at such a high P/E compared to the market. It seems most investors are expecting this strong future growth and are willing to pay more for the stock.
The Key Takeaway
We'd say 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 MAAS Group Holdings' analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook is contributing to its high P/E. Right now shareholders are comfortable with the P/E as they are quite confident future earnings aren't under threat. It's hard to see the share price falling strongly in the near future under these circumstances.
There are also other vital risk factors to consider before investing and we've discovered 2 warning signs for MAAS Group Holdings that you should be aware of.
You might be able to find a better investment than MAAS Group Holdings. If you want a selection of possible candidates, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20x (but have proven they can grow earnings).
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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.
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