PE Ratios

Just out of curiosity I figured the average PE ratio of those eight biggest positions that I listed in my current positions. These are rapidly growing companies but the average PE was 20.1. Note that that goes against the Rule Breaker idea of picking overpriced stocks, or even ones with no earnings. Companies like Zillow, with a PE over 200 or something, may do just fine over the long haul, but I’ve decided “Not for me.” If I can find a rapidly growing stock with a reasonable PE, why buy expensive stocks where you hope they’ll grow into their price?

Best

Saul

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By the way, those top eight positions made up 78% of my portfolio, with 22% scattered among the smallest six. So my portfolio is clearly weighted toward reasonable PE’s, even if I have made exceptions for small positions in SZYM and AEYE. And INBK, POL and PFIE are also reasonable PE’s.

Saul

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I am learning a great from reading through the posts on the boards.

Just out of curiosity I figured the average PE ratio of those eight biggest positions that I listed in my current positions. These are rapidly growing companies but the average PE was 20.1. Note that that goes against the Rule Breaker idea of picking overpriced stocks, or even ones with no earnings. Companies like Zillow, with a PE over 200 or something, may do just fine over the long haul, but I’ve decided “Not for me.” If I can find a rapidly growing stock with a reasonable PE, why buy expensive stocks where you hope they’ll grow into their price?

I am curious about something from this post. If most of the Rule Breaker stocks have very high PE’s or no earnings yet, why is this a place that you look for stock picks?

Also, I believe that I have read that stocks that do not have earnings may be a good pick as long as they have high sales growth, good cash flow, and low to no debt. When might you pick a company with no earnings? And how do you know if a company is getting close to becoming profitable?

-Josh

Josh, on the side panel you will find three links that will help you:

  1. https://discussion.fool.com/why-my-investing-criteria-have-chang…

  2. https://discussion.fool.com/why-my-investing-criteria-have-chang…

  3. https://discussion.fool.com/how-i-pick-a-company-to-invest-in-33…

Saul

5 Likes

I am curious about something from this post. If most of the Rule Breaker stocks have very high PE’s or no earnings yet, why is this a place that you look for stock picks?

Also, I believe that I have read that stocks that do not have earnings may be a good pick as long as they have high sales growth, good cash flow, and low to no debt. When might you pick a company with no earnings? And how do you know if a company is getting close to becoming profitable?

-Josh

For clarity, the discussion quoted before the questions pasted above relates to the list of Saul’s holdings from post #3934 on the board from October 2014, which I have pasted below as seeing such a low P/E ratio for Saul stocks didn’t sound right from any recent holdings (subsequent to mid-2017 or so, at least).

Link to that thread: https://discussion.fool.com/my-current-positions-31471045.aspx?s…

Potentially some solid value in looking at what Saul held as of late-2014, so below I have pasted that post.

-volfan84


Here are some of my current positions, and some thoughts about them. (Please remember that I always discuss adjusted earnings).

BOFI is my biggest position. It’s been as high as $106, and recently as low as $65. It’s currently at $70.50. I sold a little at $102, and a little more at $92, and have been steadily adding to my position since, on the way down (although none actually this week, I was busy with other things). BOFI’s current trailing PE ratio is 18. Quarterly EPS has been up for 10 quarters sequentially, and at least 10 quarters year over year. They have not yet reported this quarter. There has been no bad news, except that their assumption of H&R Block’s banking business has been delayed.

CELG is my 2nd biggest position. It’s at a new high of $103 after announcing earnings. Everything is continuing to do very well. Six months ago you could have bought them between $68 and $70. (I added to my position there, myself). I just sold a small amount at $101 because my position was so big, it’s up 50% in six months, and I had other things I wanted to buy. I am certainly planning to keep it as one of my largest positions. Its current trailing PE ratio is 30.

UBNT is my 3rd biggest position. In the last 14 months, they started at $21, went as high as $56, and twice fell back to $31.50. They are currently at $34.50. They haven’t yet reported earnings, but if they hit the mid-point of their very conservative range they will have a trailing PE of 16.7, which seems rather conservative for a company growing trailing earnings at close to 100% for the last four quarters.

SYNA is my 4th biggest. I took my position a year and a half ago at $40. They got as high as $92, but recently sold off to $62 after three quarters of disappointing results (basically flat to slightly down). Note however that their current trailing PE is just 15. They recently bought a fingerprint sensing business which they felt would be transformational, but which took some time to integrate (causing some of the disappointing results), and now have bought a company for cash which they feel increases their potential market by one and a half times. This acquisition closed on the first day of this quarter so I’m willing to give them a couple more quarters, as next quarter should have earnings up at least 50%, and their price is incredibly cheap.

SWKS is just behind SYNA, and is growing revenue and earnings at an accelerating rate, and is a possible play on the Internet of things. They got as low as $45.50 two weeks ago, but have bounced back 21% in two weeks to $55. If they don’t increase earnings sequentially at all when they report the Sept quarter, they will still have a trailing PE of only 18.6. They are growing earnings about 31% per year for the last four quarters.

SKX is close behind SWKS. You may have heard of Skechers. My wife doesn’t wear any other shoe. This last quarter earnings were only up about 113% (give or take), way down from 400% the quarter before and 150% or so the quarter before that, so you guessed it. They sold off! In fact the price has fallen from $64 to about $50 in the past six weeks of this crazy market. That brings them down to a trailing PE of about 18.6 too. You can discuss whether the PE should be 18.6 or 19.6 depending on what you put in adjusted earnings, but that certainly doesn’t change the investment thesis.

AIOCF. We drop down a bit to my 7th position. It’s very labile and the CEO is emphasizing capturing market share at the present, so you might expect a very high PE, but their PE is around 20, depending on the Canadian exchange rate. They grew revenue at 78%(!) from 2012 to 2013, and by 70% in the first two quarters of this year. They haven’t reported Sept yet. (Adjusted earnings were up well over 100% from 2012 to 2013.). The price has fallen more than 50% since the high in January, to give us now that reasonable PE.

WAB is 8th. They haven’t had a year over year quarterly drop in earnings for as far as I’ve looked back (Dec 2011). Just keep chugging along. Dropped as low as $72 two weeks ago, but are back at $79. (All time high is $86). Trailing PE is 24. Will be a little less after they report Sept quarter. Not bad for the only stock on any US exchange to be up every year of the century, even 2008.

I’m getting worn out. My smaller positions, in order, are
PFIE
POL
SZYM
AEYE
INBK
CGNX
Last three are pretty small, for me (about 1.5% to 2.5%)

Hope this long-winded post is of some interest.

Saul

I think the first two links are the same. Takes me to the same place.

I think the first two links are the same. Takes me to the same place.

Just click on the first two articles on the right hand panel.

I’ve already read those. I was just pointing out that you only linked two items for the person asking the question when you clearly intended all three.

I will probably read them again soon, though. New to this board, so still wrapping my head around your philosophy. It seems some just mirror what you do, but I like to understand what I’m investing in and why. Lets me sleep better.