Don’t Sell Hermès International Société en commandite par actions (EPA:RMS) Before You Read This

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Hermès International Société en commandite par actions’s (EPA:RMS) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Hermès International Société en commandite par actions has a price to earnings ratio of 49.50, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying €49.50 for every €1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for Hermès International Société en commandite par actions

How Do I Calculate Hermès International Société en commandite par actions’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Hermès International Société en commandite par actions:

P/E of 49.50 = EUR689.60 ÷ EUR13.93 (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 EUR1 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.

Does Hermès International Société en commandite par actions 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. As you can see below, Hermès International Société en commandite par actions has a higher P/E than the average company (31.9) in the luxury industry.

ENXTPA:RMS Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 14th 2020
ENXTPA:RMS Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 14th 2020

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Hermès International Société en commandite par actions shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

Hermès International Société en commandite par actions saw earnings per share improve by -9.8% last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 12% per year over the last five years.

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

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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).

While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Hermès International Société en commandite par actions’s Balance Sheet

Hermès International Société en commandite par actions has net cash of €3.5b. That should lead to a higher P/E than if it did have debt, because its strong balance sheets gives it more options.

The Verdict On Hermès International Société en commandite par actions’s P/E Ratio

Hermès International Société en commandite par actions trades on a P/E ratio of 49.5, which is above its market average of 18.1. Recent earnings growth wasn’t bad. Also positive, the relatively strong balance sheet will allow for investment in growth — and the P/E indicates shareholders that will happen!

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. 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 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.

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.