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What Does Recipe Unlimited Corporation's (TSE:RECP) P/E Ratio Tell You?

Simply Wall St

Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll show how you can use Recipe Unlimited Corporation's (TSE:RECP) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Recipe Unlimited has a P/E ratio of 19.89, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.0%.

View our latest analysis for Recipe Unlimited

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 Recipe Unlimited:

P/E of 19.89 = CA$14.760 ÷ CA$0.742 (Based on the year to December 2019.)

(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each CA$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 Does Recipe Unlimited's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. The image below shows that Recipe Unlimited has a higher P/E than the average (14.3) P/E for companies in the hospitality industry.

TSX:RECP Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 11th 2020

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Recipe Unlimited shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

When earnings fall, the 'E' decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Recipe Unlimited's earnings per share fell by 38% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 19%. And EPS is down 17% a year, over the last 3 years. This might lead to low expectations.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. 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.

Recipe Unlimited's Balance Sheet

Recipe Unlimited has net debt worth 59% of its market capitalization. This is a reasonably significant level of debt -- all else being equal you'd expect a much lower P/E than if it had net cash.

The Bottom Line On Recipe Unlimited's P/E Ratio

Recipe Unlimited has a P/E of 19.9. That's higher than the average in its market, which is 13.6. With relatively high debt, and no earnings per share growth over twelve months, it's safe to say the market believes the company will improve its earnings growth in the future.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, 'In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

You might be able to find a better buy than Recipe Unlimited. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.