Here’s What Eland Oil & Gas PLC’s (LON:ELA) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

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Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We’ll look at Eland Oil & Gas PLC’s (LON:ELA) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. What is Eland Oil & Gas’s P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 5.85. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 17%.

Check out our latest analysis for Eland Oil & Gas

How Do You Calculate A P/E 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 Eland Oil & Gas:

P/E of 5.85 = $1.62 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, USD ) ÷ $0.28 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each £1 of company earnings. 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

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company’s P/E multiple. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

In the last year, Eland Oil & Gas grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 385% gain was both fast and well deserved. The cherry on top is that the five year growth rate was an impressive 81% per year. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio.

How Does Eland Oil & Gas’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. If you look at the image below, you can see Eland Oil & Gas has a lower P/E than the average (9.8) in the oil and gas industry classification.

AIM:ELA Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 29th 2019
AIM:ELA Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 29th 2019

Eland Oil & Gas’s P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, 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.

While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Is Debt Impacting Eland Oil & Gas’s P/E?

Eland Oil & Gas has net debt worth just 1.2% of its market capitalization. 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 Eland Oil & Gas’s P/E Ratio

Eland Oil & Gas has a P/E of 5.9. That’s below the average in the GB market, which is 16.4. 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. Because analysts are predicting more growth in the future, one might have expected to see a higher P/E ratio. You can taker closer look at the fundamentals, here.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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: Eland Oil & Gas 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.