Investor Optimism Abounds Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) But Growth Is Lacking

Simply Wall St · 05/13 10:49

There wouldn't be many who think Lowe's Companies, Inc.'s (NYSE:LOW) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 17.5x is worth a mention when the median P/E in the United States is similar at about 17x. While this might not raise any eyebrows, if the P/E ratio is not justified investors could be missing out on a potential opportunity or ignoring looming disappointment.

With its earnings growth in positive territory compared to the declining earnings of most other companies, Lowe's Companies has been doing quite well of late. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to deteriorate like the rest, which has kept the P/E from rising. If not, then existing shareholders have reason to be feeling optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

See our latest analysis for Lowe's Companies

NYSE:LOW Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry May 13th 2024
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on Lowe's Companies.

Is There Some Growth For Lowe's Companies?

Lowe's Companies' P/E ratio would be typical for a company that's only expected to deliver moderate growth, and importantly, perform in line with the market.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew earnings per share by an impressive 30% last year. Pleasingly, EPS has also lifted 73% in aggregate from three years ago, thanks to the last 12 months of growth. Therefore, it's fair to say the earnings growth recently has been superb for the company.

Looking ahead now, EPS is anticipated to climb by 3.2% per year during the coming three years according to the analysts following the company. That's shaping up to be materially lower than the 9.9% each year growth forecast for the broader market.

With this information, we find it interesting that Lowe's Companies is trading at a fairly similar P/E to the market. Apparently many investors in the company are less bearish than analysts indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock right now. These shareholders may be setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/E falls to levels more in line with the growth outlook.

The Bottom Line On Lowe's Companies' 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 Lowe's Companies' analyst forecasts revealed that its inferior earnings outlook isn't impacting its P/E as much as we would have predicted. Right now we are uncomfortable with the P/E as the predicted future earnings aren't likely to support a more positive sentiment for long. Unless these conditions improve, it's challenging to accept these prices as being reasonable.

Plus, you should also learn about these 2 warning signs we've spotted with Lowe's Companies (including 1 which can't be ignored).

If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on Lowe's Companies, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.