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# Here’s How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:CBRL) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has a price to earnings ratio of 18.59, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 5.4%.

### How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store:

P/E of 18.59 = \$170.01 ÷ \$9.15 (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 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. 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.

### Does Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (23.2) for companies in the hospitality industry is higher than Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s P/E.

This suggests that market participants think Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will underperform other companies in its industry.

### 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. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s earnings per share fell by 8.7% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 11%.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. 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.

### Is Debt Impacting Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s P/E?

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has net debt worth just 5.7% of its market capitalization. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.

### The Verdict On Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s P/E Ratio

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s P/E is 18.6 which is about average (18) in the US market. When you consider the lack of EPS growth last year (along with some debt), it seems the market is optimistic about the future for the business.

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. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

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.

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.