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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Franklin Electric Co., Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FELE) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Franklin Electric has a price to earnings ratio of 26.61, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $26.61 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.
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 Franklin Electric:
P/E of 26.61 = $50.8 ÷ $1.91 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings 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
Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. 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.
Franklin Electric’s earnings per share were pretty steady over the last year. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 3.1%.
How Does Franklin Electric’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Franklin Electric has a higher P/E than the average (19.7) P/E for companies in the machinery industry.
Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Franklin Electric shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.
Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits
The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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.
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.
Franklin Electric’s Balance Sheet
Net debt totals just 7.4% of Franklin Electric’s market cap. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.
The Bottom Line On Franklin Electric’s P/E Ratio
Franklin Electric has a P/E of 26.6. That’s higher than the average in the US market, which is 17.2. Given the debt is only modest, and earnings are already moving in the right direction, it’s not surprising that the market expects continued improvement.
Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth — so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold they key to an excellent investment decision.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.