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What Does Bank First National Corporation’s (NASDAQ:BFC) P/E Ratio Tell You?

Gabriel Boyd

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Bank First National Corporation’s (NASDAQ:BFC) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Based on the last twelve months, Bank First National’s P/E ratio is 14.17. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $14.17 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Bank First National

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 Bank First National:

P/E of 14.17 = $48.21 ÷ $3.4 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company 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.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. 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.

It’s nice to see that Bank First National grew EPS by a stonking 35% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 12% per year over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

How Does Bank First National’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Bank First National has a P/E ratio that is roughly in line with the banks industry average (14.1).

NasdaqCM:BFC PE PEG Gauge January 1st 19

That indicates that the market expects Bank First National will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. I inform my view byby checking management tenure and remuneration, among other things.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don’t Consider The Balance Sheet

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. 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 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.

Is Debt Impacting Bank First National’s P/E?

Bank First National’s net debt is 9.8% of its market cap. The market might award it a higher P/E ratio if it had net cash, but its unlikely this low level of net borrowing is having a big impact on the P/E multiple.

The Verdict On Bank First National’s P/E Ratio

Bank First National trades on a P/E ratio of 14.2, which is below the US market average of 16. The company hasn’t stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low. Given analysts are expecting further growth, one might have expected a higher P/E ratio. That may be worth further research.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

But note: Bank First National 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.