This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Peoples Bancorp Inc.’s (NASDAQ:PEBO) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Peoples Bancorp has a price to earnings ratio of 12.98, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 7.7%.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Peoples Bancorp:
P/E of 12.98 = $34.25 ÷ $2.64 (Based on the year to September 2019.)
Is A High P/E Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. That isn’t necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.
How Does Peoples Bancorp’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (13.0) for companies in the banks industry is roughly the same as Peoples Bancorp’s P/E.
That indicates that the market expects Peoples Bancorp will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. So if Peoples Bancorp actually outperforms its peers going forward, that should be a positive for the share price. Checking factors such as director buying and selling. could help you form your own view on if that will happen.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company’s P/E multiple. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.
Peoples Bancorp increased earnings per share by an impressive 20% over the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 11% per year over the last five years. This could arguably justify a relatively high P/E ratio.
A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank
It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).
Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).
Peoples Bancorp’s Balance Sheet
Net debt is 38% of Peoples Bancorp’s market cap. While it’s worth keeping this in mind, it isn’t a worry.
The Verdict On Peoples Bancorp’s P/E Ratio
Peoples Bancorp trades on a P/E ratio of 13.0, which is below the US market average of 18.8. The EPS growth last year was strong, and debt levels are quite reasonable. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.