Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH) Still Undervalued?

Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. To keep it practical, we’ll show how Match Group, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:MTCH) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Match Group has a price to earnings ratio of 43.62, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 2.3%.

View our latest analysis for Match Group

How Do You Calculate Match Group’s P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Match Group:

P/E of 43.62 = USD80.72 ÷ USD1.85 (Based on the year to September 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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 Match Group Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Match Group has a higher P/E than the average (31.5) P/E for companies in the interactive media and services industry.

NasdaqGS:MTCH Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqGS:MTCH Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 3rd 2020

That means that the market expects Match Group will outperform other companies in its industry. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

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. 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.

Match Group increased earnings per share by a whopping 44% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 15% annually, over the last five years. I’d therefore be a little surprised if its P/E ratio was not relatively high.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.

While growth expenditure doesn’t always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Is Debt Impacting Match Group’s P/E?

Match Group has net debt worth just 5.6% of its market capitalization. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.

The Bottom Line On Match Group’s P/E Ratio

Match Group’s P/E is 43.6 which is above average (18.2) in its market. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and its recent EPS growth is nothing short of stand-out. So to be frank we are not surprised it has a high P/E ratio.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Match Group. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.

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