# Don’t Sell BW Offshore Limited (OB:BWO) Before You Read This

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This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at BW Offshore Limited’s (OB:BWO) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. What is BW Offshore’s P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 29.17. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying NOK29.17 for every NOK1 in prior year profit.

### How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for BW Offshore:

P/E of 29.17 = \$5.28 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, USD ) ÷ \$0.18 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

### Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing 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

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. 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.

BW Offshore shrunk earnings per share by 16% over the last year. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 50% per year over the last five years. This growth rate might warrant a below average P/E ratio.

### Does BW Offshore Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below, BW Offshore has a higher P/E than the average company (20.2) in the energy services industry.

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that BW Offshore shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

### A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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.

### Is Debt Impacting BW Offshore’s P/E?

BW Offshore has net debt worth a very significant 126% of its market capitalization. This level of debt justifies a relatively low P/E, so remain cognizant of the debt, if you’re comparing it to other stocks.

### The Verdict On BW Offshore’s P/E Ratio

BW Offshore’s P/E is 29.2 which is above average (13.6) in the NO market. With meaningful debt and a lack of recent earnings growth, the market has high expectations that the business will earn more in the future.

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. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: BW Offshore 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.

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