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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 apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Boliden AB (publ)’s (STO:BOL), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Boliden has a P/E ratio of 8.5. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 12%.
How Do I Calculate Boliden’s Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for price to earnings is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Boliden:
P/E of 8.5 = SEK219.95 ÷ SEK25.88 (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 Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
Boliden’s earnings per share fell by 1.6% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 50%.
How Does Boliden’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. If you look at the image below, you can see Boliden has a lower P/E than the average (10) in the metals and mining industry classification.
This suggests that market participants think Boliden will underperform other companies in its industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.
While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.
Boliden’s Balance Sheet
Boliden has net debt worth just 2.8% of its market capitalization. So it doesn’t have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.
The Verdict On Boliden’s P/E Ratio
Boliden trades on a P/E ratio of 8.5, which is below the SE market average of 16.2. With only modest debt, it’s likely the lack of EPS growth at least partially explains the pessimism implied by the P/E ratio.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’ So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.
But note: Boliden 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 email@example.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.