This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how CNB Financial Corporation’s (NASDAQ:CCNE) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. CNB Financial has a price to earnings ratio of 14.12, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $14.12 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for CNB Financial:
P/E of 14.12 = $25.99 ÷ $1.84 (Based on the year to September 2018.)
Is A High P/E Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each $1 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
Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.
CNB Financial’s earnings per share grew by -8.5% in the last twelve months. And earnings per share have improved by 4.3% annually, over the last five years.
How Does CNB Financial’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that CNB Financial has a lower P/E than the average (15.8) P/E for companies in the banks industry.
Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that CNB Financial shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Since the market seems unimpressed with CNB Financial, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.
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. 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.
Is Debt Impacting CNB Financial’s P/E?
CNB Financial’s net debt is 69% 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 CNB Financial’s P/E Ratio
CNB Financial has a P/E of 14.1. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 18.6. It’s good to see EPS growth in the last 12 months, but the debt on the balance sheet might be muting expectations.
When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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 visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.
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 email@example.com.