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Does Grenke AG’s (ETR:GLJ) PE Ratio Signal A Selling Opportunity?

Armando Maloney

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want to learn about the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

Grenke AG (ETR:GLJ) is trading with a trailing P/E of 35.1, which is higher than the industry average of 16.8. Although some investors may see this as unappealing, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before making judgments. In this article, I will deconstruct the P/E ratio and highlight what you need to be careful of when using the P/E ratio.

View our latest analysis for Grenke

What you need to know about the P/E ratio

XTRA:GLJ PE PEG Gauge September 14th 18

A common ratio used for relative valuation is the P/E ratio. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for GLJ

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

GLJ Price-Earnings Ratio = €103.9 ÷ €2.957 = 35.1x

The P/E ratio itself doesn’t tell you a lot; however, it becomes very insightful when you compare it with other similar companies. Our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to GLJ, such as company lifetime and products sold. One way of gathering a peer group is to use firms in the same industry, which is what I’ll do. At 35.1, GLJ’s P/E is higher than its industry peers (16.8). This implies that investors are overvaluing each dollar of GLJ’s earnings. This multiple is a median of profitable companies of 6 Diversified Financial companies in DE including RMS Mezzanine, FORIS and L E Lundbergföretagen. You could think of it like this: the market is pricing GLJ as if it is a stronger company than the average of its industry group.

Assumptions to watch out for

However, it is important to note that our examination of the stock is based on certain assumptions. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to GLJ. If not, the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if Grenke AG is growing faster than its peers, then it would deserve a higher P/E ratio. We should also be aware that the stocks we are comparing to GLJ may not be fairly valued. So while we can reasonably surmise that it is optimistically valued relative to a peer group, it might be fairly valued, if the peer group is undervalued.

What this means for you:

Since you may have already conducted your due diligence on GLJ, the overvaluation of the stock may mean it is a good time to reduce your current holdings. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that relative valuation relies heavily on critical assumptions I’ve outlined above. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GLJ’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GLJ’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has GLJ been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of GLJ’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.