Should We Worry About SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc.’s (NYSE:SITE) P/E Ratio?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc.’s (NYSE:SITE) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. SiteOne Landscape Supply has a price to earnings ratio of 31.31, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying $31.31 for every $1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for SiteOne Landscape Supply

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 SiteOne Landscape Supply:

P/E of 31.31 = $57.15 ÷ $1.83 (Based on the trailing twelve months 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. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. 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.

SiteOne Landscape Supply increased earnings per share by a whopping 33% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 38% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

How Does SiteOne Landscape Supply’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below, SiteOne Landscape Supply has a higher P/E than the average company (13.8) in the trade distributors industry.

NYSE:SITE Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 1st 2019
NYSE:SITE Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 1st 2019

SiteOne Landscape Supply’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. 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 SiteOne Landscape Supply’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals 24% of SiteOne Landscape Supply’s market cap. 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 SiteOne Landscape Supply’s P/E Ratio

SiteOne Landscape Supply has a P/E of 31.3. That’s higher than the average in the US market, which is 17.7. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and it has already proven it can grow. So it is not surprising the market is probably extrapolating recent growth well into the future, reflected in the relatively high P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: SiteOne Landscape Supply 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.