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Does Fraport AG's (ETR:FRA) P/E Ratio Signal A Buying Opportunity?

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Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll look at Fraport AG's (ETR:FRA) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. What is Fraport's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 13.53. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.4%.

View our latest analysis for Fraport

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Fraport:

P/E of 13.53 = €70.5 ÷ €5.21 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. 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

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

It's nice to see that Fraport grew EPS by a stonking 44% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 17% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

Does Fraport Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Fraport has a lower P/E than the average (20.5) P/E for companies in the infrastructure industry.

XTRA:FRA Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 3rd 2019

This suggests that market participants think Fraport will underperform other companies in its industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Fraport, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Is Debt Impacting Fraport's P/E?

Net debt totals 65% of Fraport's market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Bottom Line On Fraport's P/E Ratio

Fraport has a P/E of 13.5. That's below the average in the DE market, which is 19.6. While the EPS growth last year was strong, the significant debt levels reduce the number of options available to management. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

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.

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

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 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. Thank you for reading.