Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is The Bank of Princeton (NASDAQ:BPRN) Still Undervalued?

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use The Bank of Princeton’s (NASDAQ:BPRN) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Bank of Princeton has a P/E ratio of 14.6, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 6.9%.

View our latest analysis for Bank of Princeton

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 Bank of Princeton:

P/E of 14.6 = $32.39 ÷ $2.22 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. That isn’t a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business’s prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the ‘E’ in the equation. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

It’s great to see that Bank of Princeton grew EPS by 11% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 1.6% per year over the last five years. So one might expect an above average P/E ratio. In contrast, EPS has decreased by 8.3%, annually, over 3 years.

How Does Bank of Princeton’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Bank of Princeton has a higher P/E than the average company (13) in the banks industry.

NasdaqGS:BPRN Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 4th 2019
NasdaqGS:BPRN Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 4th 2019

Bank of Princeton’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining cash).

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

How Does Bank of Princeton’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals 13% of Bank of Princeton’s market cap. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.

The Verdict On Bank of Princeton’s P/E Ratio

Bank of Princeton has a P/E of 14.6. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 17.7. The company hasn’t stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified. Given analysts are expecting further growth, one might have expected a higher P/E ratio. That may be worth further research.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

But note: Bank of Princeton 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.