Does People’s Utah Bancorp’s (NASDAQ:PUB) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

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 People’s Utah Bancorp’s (NASDAQ:PUB) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, People’s Utah Bancorp has a P/E ratio of 11.99. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $11.99 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

See our latest analysis for People’s Utah Bancorp

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for People’s Utah Bancorp:

P/E of 11.99 = $27.27 ÷ $2.27 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E 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.

Does People’s Utah Bancorp 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. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (12.2) for companies in the banks industry is roughly the same as People’s Utah Bancorp’s P/E.

NasdaqCM:PUB Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 23rd 2019
NasdaqCM:PUB Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 23rd 2019

That indicates that the market expects People’s Utah Bancorp will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. 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.

In the last year, People’s Utah Bancorp grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 59% gain was both fast and well deserved. The cherry on top is that the five year growth rate was an impressive 20% per year. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio.

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. So it won’t reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its 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 People’s Utah Bancorp’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

With net cash of US$181m, People’s Utah Bancorp has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 35% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.

The Verdict On People’s Utah Bancorp’s P/E Ratio

People’s Utah Bancorp has a P/E of 12. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 17.4. The net cash position gives plenty of options to the business, and the recent improvement in EPS is good to see. One might conclude that the market is a bit pessimistic, given the low P/E ratio.

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: People’s Utah Bancorp 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.