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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Elmira Savings Bank’s (NASDAQ:ESBK), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Elmira Savings Bank has a P/E ratio of 13.84, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.2%.
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 Elmira Savings Bank:
P/E of 13.84 = $16.03 ÷ $1.16 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings 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 isn’t necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company’s P/E multiple. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.
Elmira Savings Bank saw earnings per share decrease by 7.2% last year. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 3.7% per year over the last five years. So you wouldn’t expect a very high P/E.
Does Elmira Savings Bank Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Elmira Savings Bank has a P/E ratio that is roughly in line with the mortgage industry average (14).
Its P/E ratio suggests that Elmira Savings Bank shareholders think that in the future it will perform about the same as other companies in its industry classification. So if Elmira Savings Bank actually outperforms its peers going forward, that should be a positive for the share price. Further research into factors such asmanagement tenure, could help you form your own view on whether that is likely.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet
Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.
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.
So What Does Elmira Savings Bank’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?
Elmira Savings Bank has net debt worth 19% of its market capitalization. That’s enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you’re comparing it to companies without debt.
The Bottom Line On Elmira Savings Bank’s P/E Ratio
Elmira Savings Bank’s P/E is 13.8 which is below average (17.7) in the US market. 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 should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: Elmira Savings Bank 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.