Don’t Sell Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE:DAR) Before You Read This

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 Darling Ingredients Inc.’s (NYSE:DAR), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Darling Ingredients’s P/E ratio is 41.69. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 2.4%.

See our latest analysis for Darling Ingredients

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Darling Ingredients:

P/E of 41.69 = $19.95 ÷ $0.48 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. That isn’t a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business’s prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

Does Darling Ingredients Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (26.1) for companies in the food industry is lower than Darling Ingredients’s P/E.

NYSE:DAR Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 12th 2019
NYSE:DAR Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 12th 2019

Darling Ingredients’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

Darling Ingredients saw earnings per share decrease by 56% last year. But EPS is up 18% over the last 5 years. And over the longer term (3 years) earnings per share have decreased 10% annually. This might lead to low expectations.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. 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).

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

Darling Ingredients’s Balance Sheet

Net debt is 48% of Darling Ingredients’s market cap. While that’s enough to warrant consideration, it doesn’t really concern us.

The Bottom Line On Darling Ingredients’s P/E Ratio

Darling Ingredients has a P/E of 41.7. That’s higher than the average in its market, which is 17.4. With some debt but no EPS growth last year, the market has high expectations of future profits.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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.

But note: Darling Ingredients may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.