Don’t Sell medical columbus AG (FRA:MCE) Before You Read This

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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at medical columbus AG’s (FRA:MCE) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. medical columbus has a price to earnings ratio of 32.62, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 3.1%.

View our latest analysis for medical columbus

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 medical columbus:

P/E of 32.62 = €5.7 ÷ €0.17 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 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

When earnings fall, the ‘E’ decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

Notably, medical columbus grew EPS by a whopping 62% in the last year. But earnings per share are down 11% per year over the last three years.

How Does medical columbus’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that medical columbus has a higher P/E than the average (28.3) P/E for companies in the healthcare services industry.

DB:MCE PE PEG Gauge February 13th 19
DB:MCE PE PEG Gauge February 13th 19

That means that the market expects medical columbus will outperform other companies in its industry. 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.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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.

medical columbus’s Balance Sheet

Since medical columbus holds net cash of €181k, it can spend on growth, justifying a higher P/E ratio than otherwise.

The Bottom Line On medical columbus’s P/E Ratio

medical columbus trades on a P/E ratio of 32.6, which is above the DE market average of 17.8. With cash in the bank the company has plenty of growth options — and it is already on the right track. So it does not seem strange that the P/E is above average.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

You might be able to find a better buy than medical columbus. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.