Here's What Ströer SE Co. KGaA's (FRA:SAX) P/E Is Telling Us

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Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll show how you can use Ströer SE & Co. KGaA's (FRA:SAX) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, Ströer SE KGaA's P/E ratio is 32.16. That means that at current prices, buyers pay €32.16 for every €1 in trailing yearly profits.

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Ströer SE KGaA:

P/E of 32.16 = €60.9 ÷ €1.89 (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Ströer SE KGaA shrunk earnings per share by 7.2% last year. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 90%.

Does Ströer SE KGaA Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (30.8) for companies in the media industry is roughly the same as Ströer SE KGaA's P/E.

Ströer SE KGaA's P/E tells us that market participants think its prospects are roughly in line with its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. Checking factors such as the tenure of the board and management could help you form your own view on if that will happen.

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. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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 Ströer SE KGaA's P/E?

Ströer SE KGaA's net debt equates to 48% of its market capitalization. While that's enough to warrant consideration, it doesn't really concern us.

The Verdict On Ströer SE KGaA's P/E Ratio

Ströer SE KGaA's P/E is 32.2 which is above average (20.3) in the DE market. With some debt but no EPS growth last year, the market has high expectations of future profits.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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 visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

You might be able to find a better buy than Ströer SE KGaA. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.