Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Rosenbauer International AG (VIE:ROS) Still Undervalued?

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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Rosenbauer International AG’s (VIE:ROS) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Based on the last twelve months, Rosenbauer International’s P/E ratio is 32. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying €32 for every €1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Rosenbauer International

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 Rosenbauer International:

P/E of 32 = €41.5 ÷ €1.3 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each €1 of company earnings. 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 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. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

Rosenbauer International saw earnings per share decrease by 39% last year. And over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have decreased 21% annually. This might lead to muted expectations.

How Does Rosenbauer International’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Rosenbauer International has a higher P/E than the average (16.2) P/E for companies in the machinery industry.

WBAG:ROS PE PEG Gauge February 20th 19
WBAG:ROS PE PEG Gauge February 20th 19

Rosenbauer International’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.

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

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining 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).

How Does Rosenbauer International’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Rosenbauer International’s net debt is considerable, at 105% of its market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you must keep in mind that these debt levels would usually warrant a relatively low P/E.

The Bottom Line On Rosenbauer International’s P/E Ratio

Rosenbauer International’s P/E is 32 which is above average (14.2) in the AT market. With relatively high debt, and no earnings per share growth over twelve months, it’s safe to say the market believes the company will improve its earnings growth in the future.

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 visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

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