Does Public Joint Stock Company Saratov Oil Refinery’s (MCX:KRKN) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

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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 Public Joint Stock Company Saratov Oil Refinery’s (MCX:KRKN) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Saratov Oil Refinery has a price to earnings ratio of 2.77, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 36%.

View our latest analysis for Saratov Oil Refinery

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Saratov Oil Refinery:

P/E of 2.77 = RUB6750 ÷ RUB2434.21 (Based on the year to September 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each RUB1 of company 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

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Saratov Oil Refinery shrunk earnings per share by 52% over the last year. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 5.7% per year over the last five years. This might lead to muted expectations.

How Does Saratov Oil Refinery’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Saratov Oil Refinery has a lower P/E than the average (3.9) P/E for companies in the oil and gas industry.

MISX:KRKN PE PEG Gauge February 14th 19
MISX:KRKN PE PEG Gauge February 14th 19

This suggests that market participants think Saratov Oil Refinery will underperform other companies in its industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. 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.

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

Is Debt Impacting Saratov Oil Refinery’s P/E?

Since Saratov Oil Refinery holds net cash of RUруб19m, it can spend on growth, justifying a higher P/E ratio than otherwise.

The Verdict On Saratov Oil Refinery’s P/E Ratio

Saratov Oil Refinery has a P/E of 2.8. That’s below the average in the RU market, which is 7.2. The recent drop in earnings per share would make investors cautious, the healthy balance sheet means the company retains potential for future growth. If that occurs, the current low P/E could prove to be temporary.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.