Here’s How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand APC Technology Group PLC (LON:APC)

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use APC Technology Group PLC’s (LON:APC) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, APC Technology Group has a P/E ratio of 17.4. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for APC Technology Group

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for APC Technology Group:

P/E of 17.4 = £0.080 ÷ £0.0046 (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

Does APC Technology Group 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. If you look at the image below, you can see APC Technology Group has a lower P/E than the average (20.7) in the electronic industry classification.

AIM:APC Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 4th 2019
AIM:APC Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 4th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that APC Technology Group shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

APC Technology Group increased earnings per share by an impressive 18% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately, earnings per share are down 46% a year, over 5 years.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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.

Is Debt Impacting APC Technology Group’s P/E?

APC Technology Group has net debt worth 19% of its market capitalization. That’s enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you’re comparing it to companies without debt.

The Verdict On APC Technology Group’s P/E Ratio

APC Technology Group trades on a P/E ratio of 17.4, which is above its market average of 16. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is very good. Therefore, it’s not particularly surprising that it has a above average P/E ratio.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than APC Technology Group. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.