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Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is ING Bank Slaski S.A. (WSE:ING) Still Undervalued?

Simply Wall St

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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 ING Bank Slaski S.A.'s (WSE:ING) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, ING Bank Slaski's P/E ratio is 16.37. That means that at current prices, buyers pay PLN16.37 for every PLN1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for ING Bank Slaski

How Do I Calculate ING Bank Slaski's Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for ING Bank Slaski:

P/E of 16.37 = PLN192 ÷ PLN11.73 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each PLN1 of company earnings. 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. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

ING Bank Slaski increased earnings per share by 8.8% last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 9.7%.

How Does ING Bank Slaski's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. The image below shows that ING Bank Slaski has a higher P/E than the average (13.7) P/E for companies in the banks industry.

WSE:ING Price Estimation Relative to Market, May 14th 2019

That means that the market expects ING Bank Slaski 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.

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

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. 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.

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

How Does ING Bank Slaski's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

ING Bank Slaski's net debt is 6.0% of its market cap. So it doesn't have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.

The Verdict On ING Bank Slaski's P/E Ratio

ING Bank Slaski's P/E is 16.4 which is above average (10.8) in the PL market. With debt at prudent levels and improving earnings, it's fair to say the market expects steady progress in the future.

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 visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

You might be able to find a better buy than ING Bank Slaski. 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.