Should We Worry About FinecoBank Banca Fineco S.p.A.'s (BIT:FBK) P/E Ratio?

Simply Wall St

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 FinecoBank Banca Fineco S.p.A.'s (BIT:FBK) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. What is FinecoBank Banca Fineco's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 24.07. That means that at current prices, buyers pay €24.07 for every €1 in trailing yearly profits.

Check out our latest analysis for FinecoBank Banca Fineco

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for FinecoBank Banca Fineco:

P/E of 24.07 = €9.92 ÷ €0.41 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

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 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 FinecoBank Banca Fineco 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 (8.8) for companies in the banks industry is lower than FinecoBank Banca Fineco's P/E.

BIT:FBK Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 22nd 2019

That means that the market expects FinecoBank Banca Fineco will outperform other companies in its industry. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

FinecoBank Banca Fineco's earnings per share grew by -6.5% in the last twelve months. And earnings per share have improved by 19% annually, over the last five years.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. 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.

How Does FinecoBank Banca Fineco's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

FinecoBank Banca Fineco has net cash of €1.1b. This is fairly high at 19% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.

The Verdict On FinecoBank Banca Fineco's P/E Ratio

FinecoBank Banca Fineco has a P/E of 24.1. That's higher than the average in its market, which is 16.9. EPS was up modestly better over the last twelve months. Also positive, the relatively strong balance sheet will allow for investment in growth -- and the P/E indicates shareholders that will happen!

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 report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

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.