Why Coffee Holding Co., Inc.’s (NASDAQ:JVA) High P/E Ratio Isn’t Necessarily A Bad Thing

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This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Coffee Holding Co., Inc.’s (NASDAQ:JVA) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Based on the last twelve months, Coffee Holding’s P/E ratio is 35.51. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $35.51 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Coffee Holding

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Coffee Holding:

P/E of 35.51 = $6.61 ÷ $0.19 (Based on the year to October 2018.)

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 a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business’s prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.

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. 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. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

It’s nice to see that Coffee Holding grew EPS by a stonking 133% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 3.4% per year over the last five years. So we’d generally expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.

How Does Coffee Holding’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (18.1) for companies in the food industry is lower than Coffee Holding’s P/E.

NASDAQCM:JVA PE PEG Gauge February 11th 19
NASDAQCM:JVA PE PEG Gauge February 11th 19

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Coffee Holding shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

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

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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).

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

How Does Coffee Holding’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals just 4.7% of Coffee Holding’s market cap. So it doesn’t have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On Coffee Holding’s P/E Ratio

Coffee Holding’s P/E is 35.5 which is above average (16.8) in the US market. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and it is growing earnings per share. So it is not surprising the market is probably extrapolating recent growth well into the future, reflected in the relatively high P/E ratio.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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 visual report on analyst forecasts could hold they key to an excellent investment decision.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

To help readers see past 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.