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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 Intertrust N.V.’s (AMS:INTER) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. What is Intertrust’s P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 18.25. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying €18.25 for every €1 in prior year profit.
How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?
The formula for price to earnings is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Intertrust:
P/E of 18.25 = €18.19 ÷ €1.0 (Based on the year to March 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’
How Does Intertrust’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (18.2) for companies in the professional services industry is roughly the same as Intertrust’s P/E.
Intertrust’s P/E tells us that market participants think its prospects are roughly in line with its industry.
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. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
Intertrust had pretty flat EPS growth in the last year. But over the longer term (3 years), earnings per share have increased by 76%.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. 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.
Intertrust’s Balance Sheet
Intertrust’s net debt equates to 38% of its market capitalization. You’d want to be aware of this fact, but it doesn’t bother us.
The Bottom Line On Intertrust’s P/E Ratio
Intertrust’s P/E is 18.2 which is about average (17.5) in the NL market. Given it has some debt, and grew earnings a bit last year, the P/E indicates the market is expecting steady ongoing progress.
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 be able to find a better stock than Intertrust. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.