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# Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Delticom AG (ETR:DEX) Still Undervalued?

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Delticom AG’s (ETR:DEX) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Delticom has a P/E ratio of 39.41, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying €39.41 for every €1 in prior year profit.

### How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Delticom:

P/E of 39.41 = €8.42 ÷ €0.21 (Based on the year to June 2018.)

### Is A High P/E 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. 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

If earnings fall then in the future the ‘E’ will be lower. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

Delticom saw earnings per share decrease by 44% last year. And it has shrunk its earnings per share by 38% per year over the last five years. This could justify a pessimistic P/E.

### How Does Delticom’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

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 (37.1) for companies in the online retail industry is roughly the same as Delticom’s P/E.

Its P/E ratio suggests that Delticom shareholders think that in the future it will perform about the same as other companies in its industry classification. The company could surprise by performing better than average, in the future. Further research into factors such asmanagement tenure, could help you form your own view on whether that is likely.

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

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. 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.

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

### How Does Delticom’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Delticom has net debt worth 55% of its market capitalization. This is a reasonably significant level of debt — all else being equal you’d expect a much lower P/E than if it had net cash.

### The Verdict On Delticom’s P/E Ratio

Delticom trades on a P/E ratio of 39.4, which is above the DE market average of 17.5. 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. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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.

But note: Delticom 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.