Here’s What Dunelm Group plc’s (LON:DNLM) P/E Is Telling Us

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Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Dunelm Group plc’s (LON:DNLM), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Dunelm Group’s P/E ratio is 22.11. That means that at current prices, buyers pay £22.11 for every £1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Dunelm Group

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Dunelm Group:

P/E of 22.11 = £9.21 ÷ £0.42 (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each £1 the company has earned over the last year. 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.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the ‘E’ will be lower. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

It’s great to see that Dunelm Group grew EPS by 14% in the last year. In contrast, EPS has decreased by 6.2%, annually, over 3 years.

How Does Dunelm Group’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Dunelm Group has a higher P/E than the average company (12) in the specialty retail industry.

LSE:DNLM Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 2nd 2019
LSE:DNLM Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 2nd 2019

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

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. 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).

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

Is Debt Impacting Dunelm Group’s P/E?

Dunelm Group has net debt worth just 3.9% 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 Dunelm Group’s P/E Ratio

Dunelm Group’s P/E is 22.1 which is above average (16.4) in the GB market. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and it is growing EPS strongly. So on this analysis it seems reasonable that its P/E ratio is above average.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Dunelm 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.