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Does PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust’s (NYSE:PMT) PE Ratio Signal A Selling Opportunity?

Willa Russo

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT) is currently trading at a trailing P/E of 10.8x, which is higher than the industry average of 10.1x. Although some investors may jump to the conclusion that you should avoid the stock or sell if you own it, 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. Check out our latest analysis for PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust

What you need to know about the P/E ratio

NYSE:PMT PE PEG Gauge Jan 23rd 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 PMT

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

PMT Price-Earnings Ratio = $15.91 ÷ $1.469 = 10.8x

On its own, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell you much; however, it becomes extremely useful when you compare it with other similar companies. We preferably want to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar features to PMT, such as capital structure and profitability. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. PMT’s P/E of 10.8x is higher than its industry peers (10.1x), which implies that each dollar of PMT’s earnings is being overvalued by investors. Therefore, according to this analysis, PMT is an over-priced stock.

A few caveats

While our conclusion might prompt you to sell your PMT shares immediately, there are two important assumptions you should be aware of. Firstly, our peer group contains companies that are similar to PMT. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, if you compared higher growth firms with PMT, then its P/E would naturally be lower since investors would reward its peers’ higher growth with a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing PMT to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold true, PMT’s lower P/E ratio may be because firms in our peer group are overvalued by the market.

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.