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Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We’ll show how you can use AIXTRON SE’s (FRA:AIXA) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, AIXTRON’s P/E ratio is 19.7. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying €19.7 for every €1 in prior year profit.
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 AIXTRON:
P/E of 19.7 = €7.5 ÷ €0.38 (Based on the year to March 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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 Does AIXTRON’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that AIXTRON has a lower P/E than the average (23.2) P/E for companies in the semiconductor industry.
This suggests that market participants think AIXTRON 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. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.
AIXTRON increased earnings per share by a whopping 31% last year.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. 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.
So What Does AIXTRON’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?
With net cash of €248m, AIXTRON has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 29% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.
The Bottom Line On AIXTRON’s P/E Ratio
AIXTRON trades on a P/E ratio of 19.7, which is fairly close to the DE market average of 19.7. Its net cash position is the cherry on top of its superb EPS growth. So at a glance we’re a bit surprised that AIXTRON does not have a higher P/E ratio.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’ So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than AIXTRON. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.