Should We Worry About The Home Depot, Inc.’s (NYSE:HD) P/E Ratio?

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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 The Home Depot, Inc.’s (NYSE:HD) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Based on the last twelve months, Home Depot’s P/E ratio is 21.22. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 4.7%.

See our latest analysis for Home Depot

How Do You Calculate Home Depot’s P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Home Depot:

P/E of 21.22 = $212 ÷ $9.99 (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 2019.)

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. 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 Does Home Depot’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, Home Depot has a higher P/E than the average company (15.1) in the specialty retail industry.

NYSE:HD Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 10th 2019
NYSE:HD Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 10th 2019

Home Depot’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Notably, Home Depot grew EPS by a whopping 28% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 20% annually, over the last five years. I’d therefore be a little surprised if its P/E ratio was not relatively high.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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 Home Depot’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals 11% of Home Depot’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 Home Depot’s P/E Ratio

Home Depot’s P/E is 21.2 which is above average (18) in its market. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is very good. Therefore, it’s not particularly surprising that it has a above average P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 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.

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.