Earnings Tell The Story For Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNRC)

Generac Holdings Inc. +1.26%

Generac Holdings Inc.

GNRC

135.15

+1.26%

Generac Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:GNRC) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 50.1x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 17x and even P/E's below 9x are quite common. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/E at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

Generac Holdings has been struggling lately as its earnings have declined faster than most other companies. One possibility is that the P/E is high because investors think the company will turn things around completely and accelerate past most others in the market. If not, then existing shareholders may be very nervous about the viability of the share price.

See our latest analysis for Generac Holdings

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:GNRC Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry December 28th 2023
Keen to find out how analysts think Generac Holdings' future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

What Are Growth Metrics Telling Us About The High P/E?

In order to justify its P/E ratio, Generac Holdings would need to produce outstanding growth well in excess of the market.

Taking a look back first, the company's earnings per share growth last year wasn't something to get excited about as it posted a disappointing decline of 62%. The last three years don't look nice either as the company has shrunk EPS by 45% in aggregate. So unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the company has not done a great job of growing earnings over that time.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 51% per annum over the next three years. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 13% per annum growth forecast for the broader market.

In light of this, it's understandable that Generac Holdings' P/E sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are expecting this strong future growth and are willing to pay more for the stock.

The Bottom Line On Generac Holdings' P/E

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.

As we suspected, our examination of Generac Holdings' analyst forecasts revealed that its superior earnings outlook is contributing to its high P/E. At this stage investors feel the potential for a deterioration in earnings isn't great enough to justify a lower P/E ratio. Unless these conditions change, they will continue to provide strong support to the share price.

And what about other risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Generac Holdings (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.

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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