Watts Water Technologies, Inc.'s (NYSE:WTS) Popularity With Investors Is Under Threat From Overpricing

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. Class A +0.31% Pre

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. Class A

WTS

200.27

200.27

+0.31%

0.00% Pre

With a price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 25.6x Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:WTS) may be sending very bearish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all companies in the United States have P/E ratios under 16x and even P/E's lower than 9x 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 so lofty.

With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Watts Water Technologies has been doing quite well of late. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Watts Water Technologies

pe-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:WTS Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry December 29th 2023
Keen to find out how analysts think Watts Water Technologies' 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?

There's an inherent assumption that a company should far outperform the market for P/E ratios like Watts Water Technologies' to be considered reasonable.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 24% gain to the company's bottom line. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 140% overall rise in EPS, aided by its short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have probably welcomed those medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the nine analysts covering the company suggest earnings growth is heading into negative territory, declining 1.0% over the next year. Meanwhile, the broader market is forecast to expand by 10%, which paints a poor picture.

In light of this, it's alarming that Watts Water Technologies' 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. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as these declining earnings are likely to weigh heavily on the share price eventually.

The Bottom Line On Watts Water Technologies' P/E

Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-earnings ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

Our examination of Watts Water Technologies' 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. When we see a poor outlook with earnings heading backwards, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. Unless these conditions improve markedly, it's very challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

Many other vital risk factors can be found on the company's balance sheet. You can assess many of the main risks through our free balance sheet analysis for Watts Water Technologies with six simple checks.

You might be able to find a better investment than Watts Water Technologies. If you want a selection of possible candidates, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a low P/E (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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