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Dominion Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE:D) Popularity With Investors Is Clear

Dominion Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE:D) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 39.9x might make it look like a strong sell right now compared to the market in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/E ratios below 13x and even P/E's below 7x are quite common. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/E.

While the market has experienced earnings growth lately, Dominion Energy's earnings have gone into reverse gear, which is not great. It might be that many expect the dour earnings performance to recover substantially, which has kept the P/E from collapsing. If not, then existing shareholders may be extremely nervous about the viability of the share price.

See our latest analysis for Dominion Energy

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Keen to find out how analysts think Dominion Energy's future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

Is There Enough Growth For Dominion Energy?

There's an inherent assumption that a company should far outperform the market for P/E ratios like Dominion Energy's to be considered reasonable.

Taking a look back first, the company's earnings per share growth last year wasn't something to get excited about as it posted a disappointing decline of 32%. Still, the latest three year period has seen an excellent 259% overall rise in EPS, in spite of its unsatisfying short-term performance. Accordingly, while they would have preferred to keep the run going, shareholders would probably welcome the medium-term rates of earnings growth.

Turning to the outlook, the next three years should generate growth of 36% per year as estimated by the analysts watching the company. That's shaping up to be materially higher than the 9.6% per annum growth forecast for the broader market.

With this information, we can see why Dominion Energy is trading at such a high P/E compared to the market. Apparently shareholders aren't keen to offload something that is potentially eyeing a more prosperous future.

The Bottom Line On Dominion Energy's P/E

We'd say the price-to-earnings ratio's power isn't primarily as a valuation instrument but rather to gauge current investor sentiment and future expectations.

We've established that Dominion Energy maintains its high P/E on the strength of its forecast growth being higher than the wider market, as expected. Right now shareholders are comfortable with the P/E as they are quite confident future earnings aren't under threat. It's hard to see the share price falling strongly in the near future under these circumstances.

Having said that, be aware Dominion Energy is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 2 of those are concerning.

If you're unsure about the strength of Dominion Energy's business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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