Nova Ltd.'s (NASDAQ:NVMI) Business Is Yet to Catch Up With Its Share Price

Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd -5.93%

Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd

NVMI

159.92

-5.93%

When close to half the companies in the United States have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") below 16x, you may consider Nova Ltd. (NASDAQ:NVMI) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 29.3x P/E ratio. 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.

Recent times have been pleasing for Nova as its earnings have risen in spite of the market's earnings going into reverse. The P/E is probably high because investors think the company will continue to navigate the broader market headwinds better than most. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

See our latest analysis for Nova

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

How Is Nova's Growth Trending?

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

If we review the last year of earnings growth, the company posted a worthy increase of 6.0%. This was backed up an excellent period prior to see EPS up by 181% in total over the last three years. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably welcomed those medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the five analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 6.6% over the next year. With the market predicted to deliver 10% growth , that's a disappointing outcome.

In light of this, it's alarming that Nova's P/E sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently many investors in the company reject the analyst cohort's pessimism and aren't willing to let go of their stock at any price. There's a very good chance these shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the negative growth outlook.

The Bottom Line On Nova's P/E

It's argued the price-to-earnings ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.

Our examination of Nova's analyst forecasts revealed that its outlook for shrinking earnings isn't impacting its high P/E anywhere near as much as we would have predicted. Right now we are increasingly uncomfortable with the high P/E as the predicted future earnings are highly unlikely to support such positive sentiment for long. Unless these conditions improve markedly, it's very challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

A lot of potential risks can sit within a company's balance sheet. You can assess many of the main risks through our free balance sheet analysis for Nova with six simple checks.

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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