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# Does Brampton Brick Limited’s (TSE:BBL.A) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Brampton Brick Limited’s (TSE:BBL.A) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Brampton Brick has a P/E ratio of 7.87, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 13%.

### 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 Brampton Brick:

P/E of 7.87 = CA\$6.73 ÷ CA\$0.86 (Based on the year to September 2018.)

### Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

### 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. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

Brampton Brick’s earnings per share fell by 9.1% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 50%.

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

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Brampton Brick has a lower P/E than the average (19.7) P/E for companies in the basic materials industry.

Brampton Brick’s P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Brampton Brick, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

### 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.

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 Brampton Brick’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Brampton Brick’s net debt is 20% of its market cap. This could bring some additional risk, and reduce the number of investment options for management; worth remembering if you compare its P/E to businesses without debt.

### The Verdict On Brampton Brick’s P/E Ratio

Brampton Brick trades on a P/E ratio of 7.9, which is below the CA market average of 14.4. The debt levels are not a major concern, but the lack of EPS growth is likely weighing on sentiment.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Brampton Brick. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.