Should You Be Tempted To Sell Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Newcrest Mining Limited’s (ASX:NCM) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Newcrest Mining has a price to earnings ratio of 40.65, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 2.5%.

Check out our latest analysis for Newcrest Mining

How Do I Calculate Newcrest Mining’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share (in the reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Newcrest Mining:

P/E of 40.65 = $18.05 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, USD ) ÷ $0.44 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

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 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

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Newcrest Mining’s 55% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. Having said that, the average EPS growth over the last three years wasn’t so good, coming in at 7.1%.

Does Newcrest Mining Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below, Newcrest Mining has a much higher P/E than the average company (12.5) in the metals and mining industry.

ASX:NCM Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 20th 2019
ASX:NCM Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 20th 2019

Newcrest Mining’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. 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 spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

How Does Newcrest Mining’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals just 6.9% of Newcrest Mining’s market cap. 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 Bottom Line On Newcrest Mining’s P/E Ratio

Newcrest Mining’s P/E is 40.6 which is above average (16.2) in the AU market. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and its recent EPS growth is nothing short of stand-out. So on this analysis a high P/E ratio seems reasonable.

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