What Is Close Brothers Group’s (LON:CBG) P/E Ratio After Its Share Price Tanked?

What Is Close Brothers Group’s (LON:CBG) P/E Ratio After Its Share Price Tanked?


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To the annoyance of some shareholders, Close Brothers Group (LON:CBG) shares are down a considerable 34% in the last month. Indeed the recent decline has arguably caused some bitterness for shareholders who have held through the 34% drop over twelve months.

Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower share price makes a stock more attractive to potential buyers. 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. One way to gauge market expectations of a stock 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Close Brothers Group

How Does Close Brothers Group’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can tell from its P/E ratio of 7.48 that sentiment around Close Brothers Group isn’t particularly high. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (15.7) for companies in the capital markets industry is higher than Close Brothers Group’s P/E.

LSE:CBG Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 19th 2020
LSE:CBG Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 19th 2020

This suggests that market participants think Close Brothers Group will underperform other companies in its industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the ‘E’ will be lower. That means even if the current P/E is low, it will increase over time if the share price stays flat. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

Close Brothers Group saw earnings per share decrease by 4.4% last year. But it has grown its earnings per share by 3.6% per year over the last five years.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

Close Brothers Group’s Balance Sheet

Net debt totals 81% of Close Brothers Group’s market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Bottom Line On Close Brothers Group’s P/E Ratio

Close Brothers Group’s P/E is 7.5 which is below average (11.2) in the GB market. The P/E reflects market pessimism that probably arises from the lack of recent EPS growth, paired with significant leverage. Given Close Brothers Group’s P/E ratio has declined from 11.4 to 7.5 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.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

But note: Close Brothers Group may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.



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