More Unpleasant Surprises Could Be In Store For Uniserve Communications Corporation's (CVE:USS) Shares After Tumbling 29%

Uniserve Communications Corporation (CVE:USS) shareholders that were waiting for something to happen have been dealt a blow with a 29% share price drop in the last month. Instead of being rewarded, shareholders who have already held through the last twelve months are now sitting on a 17% share price drop.

In spite of the heavy fall in price, Uniserve Communications' price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 15.4x might still make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in Canada, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 9x and even P/E's below 4x are quite common. 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.

Uniserve Communications certainly has been doing a great job lately as it's been growing earnings at a really rapid pace. The P/E is probably high because investors think this strong earnings growth will be enough to outperform the broader market in the near future. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for Uniserve Communications

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Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on Uniserve Communications will help you shine a light on its historical performance.

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 Uniserve Communications' to be considered reasonable.

Retrospectively, the last year delivered an exceptional 142% gain to the company's bottom line. Still, EPS has barely risen at all from three years ago in total, which is not ideal. Therefore, it's fair to say that earnings growth has been inconsistent recently for the company.

Weighing that recent medium-term earnings trajectory against the broader market's one-year forecast for expansion of 13% shows it's noticeably less attractive on an annualised basis.

With this information, we find it concerning that Uniserve Communications is trading at a P/E higher than the market. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly limited recent growth rates and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as a continuation of recent earnings trends is likely to weigh heavily on the share price eventually.

What We Can Learn From Uniserve Communications' P/E?

Even after such a strong price drop, Uniserve Communications' P/E still exceeds the rest of the market significantly. Typically, we'd caution against reading too much into price-to-earnings ratios when settling on investment decisions, though it can reveal plenty about what other market participants think about the company.

We've established that Uniserve Communications currently trades on a much higher than expected P/E since its recent three-year growth is lower than the wider market forecast. When we see weak earnings with slower than market growth, we suspect the share price is at risk of declining, sending the high P/E lower. If recent medium-term earnings trends continue, it will place shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.

Before you take the next step, you should know about the 3 warning signs for Uniserve Communications (1 can't be ignored!) that we have uncovered.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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