Is Huntington Bancshares Incorporated’s (NASDAQ:HBAN) P/E Ratio Really That Good?

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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Huntington Bancshares Incorporated’s (NASDAQ:HBAN) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Huntington Bancshares has a price to earnings ratio of 11.45, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 8.7%.

View our latest analysis for Huntington Bancshares

How Do You Calculate Huntington Bancshares’s P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Huntington Bancshares:

P/E of 11.45 = $14.01 ÷ $1.22 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. 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

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Huntington Bancshares increased earnings per share by an impressive 20% over the last twelve months. And earnings per share have improved by 11% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

How Does Huntington Bancshares’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 Huntington Bancshares has a lower P/E than the average (13.4) P/E for companies in the banks industry.

NASDAQGS:HBAN PE PEG Gauge February 18th 19
NASDAQGS:HBAN PE PEG Gauge February 18th 19

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Huntington Bancshares shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. 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. 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 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.

How Does Huntington Bancshares’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Huntington Bancshares’s net debt is 53% of its market cap. This is a reasonably significant level of debt — all else being equal you’d expect a much lower P/E than if it had net cash.

The Bottom Line On Huntington Bancshares’s P/E Ratio

Huntington Bancshares has a P/E of 11.5. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 17.2. While the EPS growth last year was strong, the significant debt levels reduce the number of options available to management. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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.

You might be able to find a better buy than Huntington Bancshares. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.