# Here’s What Tyson Foods, Inc.’s (NYSE:TSN) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

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 Tyson Foods, Inc.’s (NYSE:TSN) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Tyson Foods has a P/E ratio of 6.97, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 14%.

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### How Do You Calculate Tyson Foods’s P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Tyson Foods:

P/E of 6.97 = \$57.77 ÷ \$8.28 (Based on the year to September 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. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Tyson Foods increased earnings per share by a whopping 71% last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 27% per year over the last five years. I’d therefore be a little surprised if its P/E ratio was not relatively high.

### How Does Tyson Foods’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 Tyson Foods has a lower P/E than the average (17.1) P/E for companies in the food industry.

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Tyson Foods 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. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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).

### Is Debt Impacting Tyson Foods’s P/E?

Tyson Foods’s net debt is 48% of its market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

### The Bottom Line On Tyson Foods’s P/E Ratio

Tyson Foods has a P/E of 7. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 16.8. The EPS growth last year was strong, and debt levels are quite reasonable. 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.

But note: Tyson Foods 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).

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.