Do You Like Banque Cantonale du Jura (VTX:BCJ) At This P/E Ratio?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Banque Cantonale du Jura’s (VTX:BCJ), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Banque Cantonale du Jura’s P/E ratio is 16.97. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying CHF16.97 for every CHF1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Banque Cantonale du Jura

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Banque Cantonale du Jura:

P/E of 16.97 = CHF56 ÷ CHF3.3 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each CHF1 of company earnings. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. 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.

Banque Cantonale du Jura increased earnings per share by 2.8% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 2.0% annually, over the last five years.

Does Banque Cantonale du Jura Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (17) for companies in the banks industry is roughly the same as Banque Cantonale du Jura’s P/E.

SWX:BCJ Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 19th 2019
SWX:BCJ Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 19th 2019

Its P/E ratio suggests that Banque Cantonale du Jura shareholders think that in the future it will perform about the same as other companies in its industry classification. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. Further research into factors such asmanagement tenure, could help you form your own view on whether that is likely.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

Banque Cantonale du Jura’s Balance Sheet

Net debt totals a substantial 300% of Banque Cantonale du Jura’s market cap. This is a relatively high level of debt, so the stock probably deserves a relatively low P/E ratio. Keep that in mind when comparing it to other companies.

The Verdict On Banque Cantonale du Jura’s P/E Ratio

Banque Cantonale du Jura trades on a P/E ratio of 17, which is below the CH market average of 18.4. The meaningful debt load is probably contributing to low expectations, even though it has improved earnings recently.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

You might be able to find a better buy than Banque Cantonale du Jura. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.