Should We Worry About Konecranes Plc’s (HEL:KCR) P/E Ratio?

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Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. To keep it practical, we’ll show how Konecranes Plc’s (HEL:KCR) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Konecranes has a P/E ratio of 24.41. That means that at current prices, buyers pay €24.41 for every €1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Konecranes

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Konecranes:

P/E of 24.41 = €33.08 ÷ €1.35 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each €1 the company has earned over the last year. 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

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Konecranes’s earnings made like a rocket, taking off 163% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 58% annually, over the last three years. So we’d absolutely expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.

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

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below, Konecranes has a higher P/E than the average company (19.6) in the machinery industry.

HLSE:KCR Price Estimation Relative to Market, May 14th 2019
HLSE:KCR Price Estimation Relative to Market, May 14th 2019

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Konecranes shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

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. 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.

Konecranes’s Balance Sheet

Net debt totals 24% of Konecranes’s market cap. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.

The Verdict On Konecranes’s P/E Ratio

Konecranes’s P/E is 24.4 which is above average (19.5) in the FI market. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and its EPS growth is very healthy indeed. So to be frank we are not surprised it has a high P/E ratio.

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.

You might be able to find a better buy than Konecranes. 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).

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.