Here’s How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc. (TSE:MDF)

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc.’s (TSE:MDF), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Mediagrif Interactive Technologies has a P/E ratio of 13.84, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 7.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for Mediagrif Interactive Technologies

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Mediagrif Interactive Technologies:

P/E of 13.84 = CA$9.88 ÷ CA$0.71 (Based on the year 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 CA$1 the company has earned over the last year. That isn’t a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business’s prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Most would be impressed by Mediagrif Interactive Technologies earnings growth of 23% in the last year. Unfortunately, earnings per share are down 1.5% a year, over 5 years.

How Does Mediagrif Interactive Technologies’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. If you look at the image below, you can see Mediagrif Interactive Technologies has a lower P/E than the average (29.2) in the interactive media and services industry classification.

TSX:MDF Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 16th 2019
TSX:MDF Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 16th 2019

This suggests that market participants think Mediagrif Interactive Technologies will underperform other companies in its industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Mediagrif Interactive Technologies, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. 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.

How Does Mediagrif Interactive Technologies’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Mediagrif Interactive Technologies’s net debt is 9.7% of its 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 Verdict On Mediagrif Interactive Technologies’s P/E Ratio

Mediagrif Interactive Technologies trades on a P/E ratio of 13.8, which is below the CA market average of 15.5. The company does have a little debt, and EPS growth was good last year. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue. Given analysts are expecting further growth, one might have expected a higher P/E ratio. That may be worth further research.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Mediagrif Interactive Technologies 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).

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.