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 Best of the Best PLC’s (LON:BOTB) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Best of the Best has a P/E ratio of 16.27, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 6.1%.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for price to earnings is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Best of the Best:
P/E of 16.27 = £3.500 ÷ £0.215 (Based on the year to October 2019.)
(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)
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 is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.
Does Best of the Best Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (15.1) for companies in the hospitality industry is lower than Best of the Best’s P/E.
Best of the Best’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.
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. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
Best of the Best saw earnings per share decrease by 38% last year. But EPS is up 31% over the last 5 years.
Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
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. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.
Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.
Is Debt Impacting Best of the Best’s P/E?
Best of the Best has net cash of UK£3.2m. This is fairly high at 11% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.
The Bottom Line On Best of the Best’s P/E Ratio
Best of the Best has a P/E of 16.3. That’s higher than the average in its market, which is 11.1. The recent drop in earnings per share might keep value investors away, but the relatively strong balance sheet will allow the company time to invest in growth. Clearly, the high P/E indicates shareholders think it will!
Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 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 email@example.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.