Should We Worry About Evolution Mining Limited’s (ASX:EVN) P/E Ratio?

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Evolution Mining Limited’s (ASX:EVN) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Evolution Mining has a P/E ratio of 29.93. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 3.3%.

View our latest analysis for Evolution Mining

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 Evolution Mining:

P/E of 29.93 = AUD3.85 ÷ AUD0.13 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 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 Evolution Mining’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Evolution Mining has a higher P/E than the average (13.2) P/E for companies in the metals and mining industry.

ASX:EVN Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 15th 2020
ASX:EVN Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 15th 2020

Evolution Mining’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. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. 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.

Evolution Mining’s earnings per share fell by 17% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 13%.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on 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.

Evolution Mining’s Balance Sheet

Evolution Mining has net cash of AU$42m. That should lead to a higher P/E than if it did have debt, because its strong balance sheets gives it more options.

The Bottom Line On Evolution Mining’s P/E Ratio

Evolution Mining trades on a P/E ratio of 29.9, which is above its market average of 18.9. The recent drop in earnings per share might keep value investors away, but the net cash position means the company has time to improve: and the high P/E suggests the market thinks it will.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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.

But note: Evolution Mining may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.

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.