Is CVR Energy Inc’s (NYSE:CVI) PE Ratio A Signal To Buy For Investors?

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want to learn about the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

CVR Energy Inc (NYSE:CVI) is trading with a trailing P/E of 11.7x, which is lower than the industry average of 13.8x. While this makes CVI appear like a great stock to buy, you might change your mind after I explain the assumptions behind the P/E ratio. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it.

Check out our latest analysis for CVR Energy

Breaking down the Price-Earnings ratio

NYSE:CVI PE PEG Gauge July 25th 18
NYSE:CVI PE PEG Gauge July 25th 18

P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

Formula

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

P/E Calculation for CVI

Price per share = $37.68

Earnings per share = $3.207

∴ Price-Earnings Ratio = $37.68 ÷ $3.207 = 11.7x

The P/E ratio itself doesn’t tell you a lot; however, it becomes very insightful when you compare it with other similar companies. Ultimately, our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to CVI, such as company lifetime and products sold. One way of gathering a peer group is to use firms in the same industry, which is what I’ll do. Since similar companies should technically have similar P/E ratios, we can very quickly come to some conclusions about the stock if the ratios differ.

Since CVI’s P/E of 11.7x is lower than its industry peers (13.8x), it means that investors are paying less than they should for each dollar of CVI’s earnings. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 25 Oil and Gas companies in US including Energem Resources, Silver Star Energy and Far Vista Petroleum. Therefore, according to this analysis, CVI is an under-priced stock.

Assumptions to be aware of

However, before you rush out to buy CVI, it is important to note that this conclusion is based on two key assumptions. The first is that our peer group actually contains companies that are similar to CVI. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to some other factors. For example, if you are inadvertently comparing lower risk firms with CVI, then CVI’s P/E would naturally be lower than its peers, since investors would value those with lower risk with a higher price. The other possibility is if you were accidentally comparing higher growth firms with CVI. In this case, CVI’s P/E would be lower since investors would also reward its peers’ higher growth with a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing CVI to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold, there is a possibility that CVI’s P/E is lower because firms in our peer group are being overvalued by the market.

NYSE:CVI Future Profit July 25th 18
NYSE:CVI Future Profit July 25th 18

What this means for you:

Since you may have already conducted your due diligence on CVI, the undervaluation of the stock may mean it is a good time to top up on your current holdings. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that relative valuation relies heavily on critical assumptions I’ve outlined above. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CVI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CVI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has CVI been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of CVI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see pass 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.