Earnings Working Against Belden Inc.'s (NYSE:BDC) Share Price

Belden Inc. -0.54% Pre

Belden Inc.

BDC

84.80

84.80

-0.54%

0.00% Pre

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 12.3x Belden Inc. (NYSE:BDC) 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 17x and even P/E's higher than 33x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the reduced P/E.

Belden has been struggling lately as its earnings have declined faster than most other companies. The P/E is probably low because investors think this poor earnings performance isn't going to improve at all. If you still like the company, you'd want its earnings trajectory to turn around before making any decisions. Or at the very least, you'd be hoping the earnings slide doesn't get any worse if your plan is to pick up some stock while it's out of favour.

View our latest analysis for Belden

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:BDC Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry December 29th 2023
Keen to find out how analysts think Belden's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

Is There Any Growth For Belden?

Belden'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.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 3.2% decrease to the company's bottom line. Still, the latest three year period has seen an excellent 601% overall rise in EPS, in spite of its unsatisfying short-term performance. Although it's been a bumpy ride, it's still fair to say the earnings growth recently has been more than adequate for the company.

Turning to the outlook, the next year should bring diminished returns, with earnings decreasing 17% as estimated by the five analysts watching the company. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 10%, which paints a poor picture.

With this information, we are not surprised that Belden is trading at a P/E lower than the market. Nonetheless, there's no guarantee the P/E has reached a floor yet with earnings going in reverse. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as the weak outlook is weighing down the shares.

What We Can Learn From Belden's 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 Belden's analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings is contributing to its low P/E. 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.

Before you settle on your opinion, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Belden that you should be aware of.

It's important to make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a low P/E).

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