Should You Be Tempted To Sell Corporación América Airports SA (NYSE:CAAP) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Corporación América Airports SA’s (NYSE:CAAP) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Corporación América Airports has a P/E ratio of 63.08, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $63.08 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Corporación América Airports

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 Corporación América Airports:

P/E of 63.08 = $7.94 ÷ $0.13 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)

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 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

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Corporación América Airports saw earnings per share decrease by 66% last year.

How Does Corporación América Airports’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. As you can see below, Corporación América Airports has a much higher P/E than the average company (14.6) in the infrastructure industry.

NYSE:CAAP PE PEG Gauge November 27th 18
NYSE:CAAP PE PEG Gauge November 27th 18

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Corporación América Airports shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. 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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. 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).

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.

Is Debt Impacting Corporación América Airports’s P/E?

Net debt totals 71% of Corporación América Airports’s market cap. This is enough debt that you’d have to make some adjustments before using the P/E ratio to compare it to a company with net cash.

The Bottom Line On Corporación América Airports’s P/E Ratio

Corporación América Airports has a P/E of 63.1. That’s significantly higher than the average in the US market, which is 17.9. With meaningful debt and a lack of recent earnings growth, the market has high expectations that the business will earn more in the future.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’ So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Corporación América Airports 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.