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Does Carraro S.p.A.'s (BIT:CARR) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Carraro S.p.A.'s (BIT:CARR), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. What is Carraro's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 13.04. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.7%.

View our latest analysis for Carraro

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 Carraro:

P/E of 13.04 = EUR1.88 ÷ EUR0.14 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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 Does Carraro's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Carraro has a lower P/E than the average (16.5) P/E for companies in the machinery industry.

BIT:CARR Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 28th 2020

Carraro's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. 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. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

It's great to see that Carraro grew EPS by 12% in the last year.

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

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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).

Is Debt Impacting Carraro's P/E?

Carraro has net debt worth a very significant 114% of its market capitalization. This level of debt justifies a relatively low P/E, so remain cognizant of the debt, if you're comparing it to other stocks.

The Verdict On Carraro's P/E Ratio

Carraro has a P/E of 13.0. That's below the average in the IT market, which is 18.5. The company has a meaningful amount of debt on the balance sheet, but that should not eclipse the solid earnings growth. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

You might be able to find a better buy than Carraro. 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).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.