By Paul Weisbruch
We recently combed industry databases and resources for listed ETFs and ranked them by Price to Earnings ratios, simply to see how various funds stacked up against each other. The results that we discovered were reasonably surprising to us, as the ETF with the lowest P/E ratio is a little known single country ETF that focuses on the Middle East, iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market (EIS).
The fund has a stunningly low P/E ratio currently, at below 5 (4.94 to be exact), but the fund still largely evades the attention of most institutional managers due to its lower assets under management (currently approximately $80 million) as well as its low average daily volume which is south of 20,000 shares.
Despite the lower typical volume, we have noted that recent volumes are well above average levels, with one trading day last week where volumes crept above 100,000 shares in just one session alone. EIS is also challenging March of 2012 highs with yesterday’s recent 3 plus percent move higher.
EIS is somewhat top heavy in that the top 5 component names collectively take up 53% of the overall index basket, while top component Teva (TEVA) represents 21.73% currently. Other companies that are top holdings include Israel Chemicals (10.79%), Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (7.65%), Bank Hapoalim B.M. (7.21%).
What we find interesting in addition to the low P/E valuation of the index/ETF, as well as the impressive recent performance, the fund is reasonably well balanced in terms of its exposure to companies of different market caps. For instance, currently, 38% of the portfolio is devoted to mid-cap names, where as 28% is carved out for microcap and small cap names. Finally, about 33% of the entire portfolio is in the Mega/Large Caps space.
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