Jabil Inc.'s (NYSE:JBL) Prospects Need A Boost To Lift Shares

Jabil Circuit, Inc. -8.36%

Jabil Circuit, Inc.

JBL

118.75

-8.36%

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 11.3x Jabil Inc. (NYSE:JBL) may be sending bullish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios greater than 18x and even P/E's higher than 33x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's limited.

With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Jabil has been doing quite well of late. One possibility is that the P/E is low because investors think the company's earnings are going to fall away like everyone else's soon. If not, then existing shareholders have reason to be quite optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for Jabil

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:JBL Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry April 3rd 2024
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on Jabil.

How Is Jabil's Growth Trending?

Jabil's P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's only expected to deliver limited growth, and importantly, perform worse than the market.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 65% last year. Pleasingly, EPS has also lifted 382% in aggregate from three years ago, thanks to the last 12 months of growth. So we can start by confirming that the company has done a great job of growing earnings over that time.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the eight analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 6.0% per year over the next three years. That's not great when the rest of the market is expected to grow by 10% per annum.

With this information, we are not surprised that Jabil is trading at a P/E lower than the market. However, shrinking earnings are unlikely to lead to a stable P/E over the longer term. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as the weak outlook is weighing down the shares.

The Key Takeaway

Using the price-to-earnings ratio alone to determine if you should sell your stock isn't sensible, however it can be a practical guide to the company's future prospects.

We've established that Jabil maintains its low P/E on the weakness of its forecast for sliding earnings, as expected. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in earnings isn't great enough to justify a higher P/E ratio. Unless these conditions improve, they will continue to form a barrier for the share price around these levels.

It is also worth noting that we have found 3 warning signs for Jabil (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you need to take into consideration.

If P/E ratios interest you, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies with strong earnings growth and low P/E ratios.

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