Is Home Inns HMIN too Expensive?

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Home Inns’ (HMIN) stock traded above $40 for the first time  today Jan 3, 2007. Since its debut on Oct 26, 2006, the stock almost doubled from its first day close price (about $22.50). From traditional valuation point of view, this is a bit insane. As a stock holder I am also nervous about such a fast run. So…why don’t we do a little PE price earning ratio analysis on this one. Let’s assume it closes at $40 today. The company earned $0.12 in the first half of year 2006, 0.10 in 3rd quarter (non GAPP, exclude one time share based compensation), and let’s say it will make $0.12 for the 4th quarter, which is quite reasonable. 40 divided by (0.12+0.10+0.12), and it’s equal to 117. This is high compared to Google, or Apple. But note the company is growing at more than 100% year over year and we can expect that trend to continue for a few years.

Note: as rule of thumb (or finger), the PE ratio should not exceed the growth rate too much. Say, for a PE 15 company, we expect it grow 15% year over year.

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