Mid Penn Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:MPB) is trading with a trailing P/E of 14.8x, which is lower than the industry average of 18.6x. Although some investors may jump to the conclusion that this is a great buying opportunity, understanding the assumptions behind the P/E ratio might change your mind. In this article, I will explain what the P/E ratio is as well as what you should look out for when using it. See our latest analysis for MPB
Breaking down the Price-Earnings ratio
The P/E ratio is a popular ratio used in relative valuation since earnings power is a key driver of investment value. 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 MPB
Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share
MPB Price-Earnings Ratio = 29 ÷ 1.965 = 14.8x
The P/E ratio itself doesn’t tell you a lot; however, it becomes very insightful when you compare it with other similar companies. We want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar characteristics as MPB, such as size and country of operation. One way of gathering a peer group is to use firms in the same industry, which is what I’ll do. At 14.8x, MPB’s P/E is lower than its industry peers (18.6x). This implies that investors are undervaluing each dollar of MPB’s earnings. Therefore, according to this analysis, MPB is an under-priced stock.
Assumptions to be aware of
While our conclusion might prompt you to buy MPB immediately, there are two important assumptions you should be aware of. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to MPB, or else the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if you compared lower risk firms with MPB, then investors would naturally value it at a lower price since it is a riskier investment. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing MPB to are fairly valued by the market. If this is violated, MPB’s P/E may be lower than its peers as they are actually overvalued by investors.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? If your personal research into the stock confirms what the P/E ratio is telling you, it might be a good time to add more of MPB to your portfolio. But keep in mind that the usefulness of relative valuation depends on whether you are comfortable with making the assumptions I mentioned above.
Are you a potential investor? If MPB has been on your watch list for a while, it is best you also consider its intrinsic valuation. Looking at PE on its own will not give you the full picture of the stock as an investment, so I suggest you should also look at other relative valuation metrics like EV/EBITDA or PEG.
PE is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on Mid Penn Bancorp for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. Since we know a limitation of PE is it doesn’t properly account for growth, you can use our free platform to see my list of stocks with a high growth potential and see if their PE is still reasonable.
To help readers see pass 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.