Rising stock prices dragging PEs higher

The bulls have taken control of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, driving the main market to several new record highs during the past week with All Jamaica Index hitting more than 352,000 points last week Friday and jumping more than 6,000 points on Tuesday morning this week to more than 356,400 points and hitting a high of 363,496.
At the same time, the Junior Market now trades at a 15 months’ high. The bullishness has also raised the PE ratio of the market higher since the start of July. The average PE for the overall Junior Market is now 13, based on 2018 estimated earnings. The main market PE, is now an average of 13.7. At the start of July, the PE ratios, were at 11 for the Junior Market and 13 for the main market. At the end of 2017, the average PEs were at 13.5 and 15 respectively, based on 2017 earnings.
The PE is the most used tool in valuing stocks. in order to compare the value of one stock versus another, as such paying attention to this most important measure is critical to success in the stock market. PE ratios are not static and will change as profit and interest rates change. Profit will drive a stock to an expected or accepted PE but interest rates will change PE depending on whether rates and rising or falling. For several years Jamaican became used to a PE of 10 being the norm. That was when interest rates were in the teens now that rates are down sharply from that level PE will rise but its taken quite some time for that to happen. Investors are slowly recognizing that to participate in a growing economy and rising profits that they have to pay more to buy the shares of the listed companies.
The attached chart suggests that the average PE ratio is likely to end 2018 around 16 TO 17 times earnings, as investors continue to gradually upgrade the multiple they are prepared to pay for stocks, which would lift prices sharply over the coming months, from current levels.
Treasury bill rates now under 2 percent and government 4 years bods clearing at 3.95 percent and with a chronic shortage of many of the stocks, continuing to put upward pressure on prices, the PE ratios will move higher, investors should be taking their cue from this development.
The movement of the markets PE to the range mentioned above would translate to and increase around 25 percent rise in the market for the rest of the year and would result in full year gains of 40 to 50 percent in main and Junior markets for the year.

About IC Insider.com