Trans-Siberian Gold (LON:TSG) shares have continued recent momentum with a 37% gain in the last month alone. That’s tops off a massive gain of 226% in the last year.
Assuming no other changes, a sharply higher share price makes a stock less 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. The implication here is that deep value investors might steer clear when expectations of a company are too high. 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 ratio means that investors have a high expectation about future growth, while a low P/E ratio means they have low expectations about future growth.
How Does Trans-Siberian Gold’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
We can tell from its P/E ratio of 12.01 that there is some investor optimism about Trans-Siberian Gold. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (10.8) for companies in the metals and mining industry is lower than Trans-Siberian Gold’s P/E.
Trans-Siberian Gold’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.
Trans-Siberian Gold’s 394% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. And earnings per share have improved by 33% annually, over the last three years. So you might say it really deserves to have an above-average P/E ratio.
A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank
It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.
How Does Trans-Siberian Gold’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?
Net debt totals just 6.1% of Trans-Siberian Gold’s market cap. So it doesn’t have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.
The Verdict On Trans-Siberian Gold’s P/E Ratio
Trans-Siberian Gold has a P/E of 12. That’s below the average in the GB market, which is 15.8. The company hasn’t stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue. What is very clear is that the market has become significantly more optimistic about Trans-Siberian Gold over the last month, with the P/E ratio rising from 8.8 back then to 12 today. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might mean it’s time to put the stock on a watchlist, or research it. But the contrarian may see it as a missed opportunity.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’
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