Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Parex Resources (TSE:PXT) share price has dived 39% in the last thirty days. Indeed the recent decline has arguably caused some bitterness for shareholders who have held through the 37% drop over twelve months.
All else being equal, a share price drop should make a stock more attractive to potential investors. While the market sentiment towards a stock is very changeable, in the long run, the share price will tend to move in the same direction as earnings per share. So, on certain occasions, long term focussed investors try to take advantage of pessimistic expectations to buy shares at a better price. Perhaps the simplest way to get a read on investors' expectations of a business is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E implies that investors have high expectations of what a company can achieve compared to a company with a low P/E ratio.
How Does Parex Resources's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
We can tell from its P/E ratio of 5.03 that sentiment around Parex Resources isn't particularly high. The image below shows that Parex Resources has a lower P/E than the average (8.2) P/E for companies in the oil and gas industry.
Parex Resources's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.
Parex Resources's earnings per share fell by 24% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 17%.
Don't Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).
While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Is Debt Impacting Parex Resources's P/E?
Parex Resources has net cash of US$350m. This is fairly high at 25% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.
The Verdict On Parex Resources's P/E Ratio
Parex Resources has a P/E of 5.0. That's below the average in the CA market, which is 13.6. Falling earnings per share are likely to be keeping potential buyers away, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: if so, the low P/E could be an opportunity. Given Parex Resources's P/E ratio has declined from 8.3 to 5.0 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is more worried about the business today, than it was back then. For those who prefer invest in growth, this stock apparently offers limited promise, but the deep value investors may find the pessimism around this stock enticing.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Parex Resources. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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