What Does Alkem Laboratories Limited’s (NSE:ALKEM) P/E Ratio Tell You?

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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Alkem Laboratories Limited’s (NSE:ALKEM), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Alkem Laboratories has a P/E ratio of 28.25. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying ₹28.25 for every ₹1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for Alkem Laboratories

How Do I Calculate Alkem Laboratories’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Alkem Laboratories:

P/E of 28.25 = ₹1796.7 ÷ ₹63.61 (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. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Alkem Laboratories increased earnings per share by an impressive 21% over the last twelve months. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 12%. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

Does Alkem Laboratories Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (18.2) for companies in the pharmaceuticals industry is lower than Alkem Laboratories’s P/E.

NSEI:ALKEM Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 15th 2019
NSEI:ALKEM Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 15th 2019

That means that the market expects Alkem Laboratories will outperform other companies in its industry. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. 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.

Is Debt Impacting Alkem Laboratories’s P/E?

Alkem Laboratories has net debt worth just 0.06% 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 Alkem Laboratories’s P/E Ratio

Alkem Laboratories has a P/E of 28.2. That’s higher than the average in the IN market, which is 15.9. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is very good. Therefore, it’s not particularly surprising that it has a above average P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E 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.