This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how Kancelaria Medius S.A.’s (WSE:KME) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Kancelaria Medius has a P/E ratio of 6.35, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying PLN6.35 for every PLN1 in prior year profit.
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How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Kancelaria Medius:
P/E of 6.35 = PLN9.3 ÷ PLN1.46 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each PLN1 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. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.
It’s nice to see that Kancelaria Medius grew EPS by a stonking 47% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 42%. So we’d generally expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.
How Does Kancelaria Medius’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (9.4) for companies in the commercial services industry is higher than Kancelaria Medius’s P/E.
Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Kancelaria Medius shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or 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. 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.
How Does Kancelaria Medius’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?
Kancelaria Medius’s net debt is 71% of its market cap. This is enough debt that you’d have to make some adjustments before using the P/E ratio to compare it to a company with net cash.
The Bottom Line On Kancelaria Medius’s P/E Ratio
Kancelaria Medius’s P/E is 6.3 which is below average (10.2) in the PL market. The company may have significant debt, but 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.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. We don’t have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Kancelaria Medius. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.