Transense Technologies plc (LON:TRT) shares have had a really impressive month, gaining 37% after a shaky period beforehand. Unfortunately, the gains of the last month did little to right the losses of the last year with the stock still down 38% over that time.
In spite of the firm bounce in price, there still wouldn't be many who think Transense Technologies' price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 13.1x is worth a mention when the median P/E in the United Kingdom is similar at about 12x. Although, it's not wise to simply ignore the P/E without explanation as investors may be disregarding a distinct opportunity or a costly mistake.
Transense Technologies 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 wane, which has kept the P/E from rising. 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 not quite in favour.
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What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The P/E?
The only time you'd be comfortable seeing a P/E like Transense Technologies' is when the company's growth is tracking the market closely.
Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 460% last year. Although, its longer-term performance hasn't been as strong with three-year EPS growth being relatively non-existent overall. So it appears to us that the company has had a mixed result in terms of growing earnings over that time.
Turning to the outlook, the next year should generate growth of 47% as estimated by the sole analyst watching the company. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 7.6% growth forecast for the broader market.
In light of this, it's curious that Transense Technologies' P/E sits in line with the majority of other companies. It may be that most investors aren't convinced the company can achieve future growth expectations.
The Final Word
Transense Technologies' stock has a lot of momentum behind it lately, which has brought its P/E level with the market. Typically, we'd caution against reading too much into price-to-earnings ratios when settling on investment decisions, though it can reveal plenty about what other market participants think about the company.
Our examination of Transense Technologies' analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook isn't contributing to its P/E as much as we would have predicted. There could be some unobserved threats to earnings preventing the P/E ratio from matching the positive outlook. It appears some are indeed anticipating earnings instability, because these conditions should normally provide a boost to the share price.
It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Transense Technologies (at least 1 which is potentially serious), and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you're unsure about the strength of Transense Technologies' business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.
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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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