It's Down 28% But IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) Could Be Riskier Than It Looks
Simply Wall St · 09/15 10:15

To the annoyance of some shareholders, IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) shares are down a considerable 28% in the last month, which continues a horrid run for the company. Instead of being rewarded, shareholders who have already held through the last twelve months are now sitting on a 19% share price drop.

Since its price has dipped substantially, given about half the companies in the United States have price-to-earnings ratios (or "P/E's") above 16x, you may consider IBEX as an attractive investment with its 7.9x P/E ratio. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the reduced P/E.

Recent times have been advantageous for IBEX as its earnings have been rising faster than most other companies. It might be that many expect the strong earnings performance to degrade substantially, which has repressed the P/E. If not, then existing shareholders have reason to be quite optimistic about the future direction of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for IBEX

NasdaqGM:IBEX Price to Earnings Ratio vs Industry September 15th 2023
If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on IBEX.

How Is IBEX's Growth Trending?

In order to justify its P/E ratio, IBEX would need to produce sluggish growth that's trailing the market.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 38% gain to the company's bottom line. However, this wasn't enough as the latest three year period has seen a very unpleasant 74% drop in EPS in aggregate. Therefore, it's fair to say the earnings growth recently has been undesirable for the company.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the five analysts covering the company suggest earnings should grow by 8.9% over the next year. Meanwhile, the rest of the market is forecast to expand by 7.8%, which is not materially different.

In light of this, it's peculiar that IBEX's P/E sits below the majority of other companies. Apparently some shareholders are doubtful of the forecasts and have been accepting lower selling prices.

The Final Word

IBEX's P/E has taken a tumble along with its share price. 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 IBEX's analyst forecasts revealed that its market-matching earnings outlook isn't contributing to its P/E as much as we would have predicted. There could be some unobserved threats to earnings preventing the P/E ratio from matching the outlook. It appears some are indeed anticipating earnings instability, because these conditions should normally provide more support to the share price.

The company's balance sheet is another key area for risk analysis. Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis for IBEX with six simple checks on some of these key factors.

Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than IBEX. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have reasonable P/E ratios and have grown earnings strongly.